Attending the partner lunch which kicks off the NatRoad conference every year, yesterday, I was struck by the words of the guest speaker at the event who took his audience through the process of getting ready for change. He went through the implications and capabilities of artificial intelligence, heading into the future, and showed us just how powerful this is as a tool.
To make the process relevant to his audience, he took the latest employment bill, which is currently going through Parliament, the Closing Loopholes Bill and asked AI to point out the possible negative implications for the trucking industry of the new Act.
It came up with a comprehensive list of issues that could arise as a result of the new law, when it comes in. It then further honed the issues down into a quick table of the three most serious implications.
Seeing the power of the AI when used by somebody who is familiar with the way AI works, but also totally unfamiliar with the trucking industry’s issues, it was mind boggling to see just how accurate his text was and looked like it was written by someone embedded in road transport.
It struck me that our industry, and many other industries, need to start getting ready for the implications of this new technology and the effects it’s going to have on all of our lives, and more specifically, how it’s going to affect our working lives.
This tells us that the next 20 years are going to be a period of an enormous amount of change throughout our industry and throughout everything that road transport people do.
It’s not only the changes, which will be brought about by AI, but also the fact that sooner or later we will have to be dragged kicking and screaming towards a zero emissions economy, and the implications of that process are that we will have the equipment we use being completely changed.
The different capabilities of the new technologies which truck operators are going to have to adopt will make changes to the way that business will handle a task. There won’t be many cases where whatever the zero emission technology it decides to use replicates exactly how the diesel technology did the task.
Changes will have to be made at the same time within their business, because of AI. The way contracts are written and managed, compliance is also a major part of truck operations these days, and it is all text based.
Therefore AI is going to penetrate widely into this field where tenders can be written, read, critiqued, changed and agreed to, all via an AI platform. At the same time, AI systems which have a knowledge of how the regulations work within this industry will then be able to come up with forms of words, which can be constantly changed as regulations change, which ensure that the business remains compliant and doesn’t breach any of the rules as they change.
It is also something we’ve got to be prepared for, because other people from other industries and other sectors who interact with our businesses are also going to be using this AI and we will need to be aware of, and be able to work out whether this is simply an artificially developed piece of text or if it actually has had a human eye over it, and does actually make sense.
We all need to be getting ready for change.