Duncan McFarlane: the future of automation

Professor Duncan McFarlane talked about how we should be thinking about automation at a summit on collaborative innovation at London's Royal Festival Hall.


The aim of the summit was to bring together smart thinkers from more than 40 countries, including government ministers, FTSE 100 leaders, CIOs, engineers, artificial intelligence experts, philosophers, IoT entrepreneurs, designers and innovators to explore how technology is solving global challenges and transforming whole industries.


Duncan said that automation today is a juggernaut - there is no aspect of our lives that won’t be affected in the coming years. And that is not just mechanisation, it also involves the automation of decisions and sensing process.


The automation questions people need to ask these days are less about how you automate (there is always someone who can do that for you) but more about what should you automate and why? And what developments should you prioritise in order to achieve both societal and commercial benefits. Automation, crucially, is also about people - not replacing them but creating new ways of working together. 


In fact, we might think beyond the Internet of Things to an Internet of People or even more appropriately an Internet for People.


Hypercat external link is a consortium and standard driving secure and interoperable Internet of Things (IoT) for industry and cities.

Date published

21 June 2016

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