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Emma Okonji

Having missed out in the previous industrial revolutions that have continued to shape developed economies of the world, Accenture Nigeria, a leading global professional services company, with focus on digital technology has demonstrated its new technology capabilities that will help Nigeria leverage the fourth industrial revolution, which is about knowledge economy.

The company, last week at its Lagos office, showcased its latest technology capabilities that will enable businesses across different sectors in the country, boost their productivity and efficiency through its recent innovations and investments in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), robotics and blockchain.

Addressing the media on its new technology initiatives driven by AI, VR, robotics and blockchain, the Managing Director, Accenture Nigeria Mr. Niyi Tayo, said: “Early this year, we predicted that in five years, more than half of consumers and enterprise clients will select products and services based on a company’s AI, instead of the company’s traditional brand. And in seven years, most interfaces will not have a screen and will be integrated into daily tasks.

These two predictions alone strongly suggest that companies must act now on developing their AI Journey.
”We want businesses in Nigeria, from banking to manufacturing, health, construction, education, retail, security, and other sectors to take advantage of the innovations we have created to improve their businesses. We believe as one of the biggest economy in Africa, the time to seize the future is now.”

Responding to the public fears that robots technology will lead to job losses, Tayo said there is clear evidence that points toward robotic automation in many cases being a complement for human labour, rather than a direct substitute. He asserted that mundane tasks were the ones being automated.
According to him, “Human effort becomes more valuable as it is focused on higher-level tasks, creativity, know-how, and thinking.”

Accenture early this year published a report, entitled the 2017 Technology Vision, which studied how artificial intelligence will affect banks going forward. Over 600 of the world’s foremost bankers were surveyed and asked a series of questions about the new technology and how it will change the way banks operate internally and how they handle their customers externally.

According to the report, from among the three quarters of the bankers surveyed, four out of five, believed that AI will become the primary way banks interact with their customers. This is in relation to customer service, and these bankers see AI technologies such as chatbots becoming increasingly essential for banks in the not-so-distant future.

Experts and academics in the technology industry were also among the individuals surveyed, which demonstrates how thorough Accenture’s study into the effects of artificial intelligence on the financial sector was. The bankers surveyed also agreed that AI would help to improve user interfaces and enable these companies to develop a more human-friendly customer service experience.