Services that Blend Technology and People Are Optimal.
Someday in the future complex processes will be able to operate without human intervention. Many complex autonomous processes won’t occur in my lifetime. I don’t consider warehouse robots nor autonomous vehicles to be terribly complex, it’s more a question of repetitions (vehicle miles traveled). I do consider cryptocurrency to be a complex equation because one has to factor cybercriminals – an evolving variable – into every crypto-based workflow. Blockchain-based infrastructure that moves digital currency in a purely autonomous fashion is doomed to fall victim to nefarious actors.
This morning we came across news of a cryptocurrency startup that provides secure cryptocurrency storage. Anchorage’s secure storage offering incorporates human reviews and biometric data into its service offering. Below we provide examples of companies that blend technology and human expertise to provide technology-enabled services.
- Amazon: Alexa is a wonderful service but don’t fool yourself by believing that its deep learning underpinnings operate 100 percent autonomously. Humans listen to voice conversations to refine the models that power Alexa’s conversational AI capability.
- Anchorage: Anchorage leverages multi-level approvals including human reviews and biometrics to secure digital currency.
- CoStar: CoStar collects enormous amounts of commercial real estate (“CRE”) data itself and through partners (its CRE customers among them). Data is subsequently reviewed, cleansed and occasionally augmented by employees prior to publishing to the platform.
- Expensify: Expensify leverages human intelligence to help classify receipt data.
- FactSet: FactSet employs a rather large offshore team to cleanse data before publishing it to the platform. 100% Autonomous data cleansing and on-boarding is decades away.
- Google: Google Duplex calls are sometimes made by humans. There’s a learning curve here and Google is not exempt.
- SS&C Technologies: SS&C’s bleeding edge intelligent investment operations platform – Singularity – leverages human intelligence. Consider the data scientists whom are versant in investment operations. These professionals leverage their skills and expertise to refine machine learning models that grow in capability by the minute. In the absence of expert human intervention the machines would simply automate incorrect process – similar to building an argument based on a series of incorrect assumptions layered on top of one another.
Our expectation is that technology companies will continue to automate workflows where they have the expertise to do so. Companies’ capacity to automate will increase over time as they acquire experience and expertise.