Johtava tutkija, ETLA & työelämäprofessori, Aalto yliopisto
Shaping the Future in the Era of Intelligent Tools: AI and Beyond
Over the past decades, information technology has driven societal development and economic growth. The continuing advance of digitalization has enabled individuals and organizations to leverage more and more intelligent tools , leading to disruptive transformations in markets, business models, jobs, and social conventions from time to time. Overall, the field of information and communication technology is one generally characterized by rapid development.
The general focus of the ICT industry and the societal spotlight for the latest expected disruption can quickly move from one technology phenomenon to another. For example, artificial intelligence—while undeniably a hot topic in today’s discussion—was hardly heralded as the all-pervasive catalyst for digital transformation three years ago. Similarly, it is likely that during the next three years, new paradigm shifts will occur in the perceived landscape of disruptive technology development.
According to research , the era of machine learning and deep learning in the disruption from artificial intelligence is coming to an end. Researchers have not been able to form a consensus on what kinds of transformative developments might be expected to take the spotlight in the post-AI era. Moreover, the pivotal platforms, business models, or intelligent tools essential to those developments have not yet been identified.
The bulk of current societal analysis uses a narrow rear-view perspective by analyzing historic micro- or macroeconomic data. In the case of emerging technologies, however, multi-dimensional interdisciplinary research is required to understand the complex socio-economic mechanisms underlying technology disruptions and how to best navigate businesses and countries in periods of extreme technology-induced turbulence.
The BRIE-ETLA 2019-2022 has been designed with this mindset, comprising a cross-disciplinary team and a set of research approaches ranging from qualitative analysis and case studies to descriptive analysis and rigorous econometric studies. By engaging in the ongoing technology trajectories and their implications at close proximity, and through the interdisciplinary examination of technologies, job tasks, businesses and organizational practices even on the micro-micro level, the project will be able to spark evidence-based debate and extrapolate macro implications far beyond any conventional analysis.
Shedding light on these developments and their constituents will be essential to policy and strategy alike in the upcoming years. Without an understanding on where the transformative technology landscape is headed, there can be no clear vision on how Finland should shape its intelligent tools and innovation environments to empower platformization and to ensure its competitive advantage in the future. Understanding how intelligent tools can be deployed to sustain employment and augment skilled work in globally competitive firms is an important contribution to the business and policy debates globally.