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Rise of the Robots

9 June 2017

The world's leading roboticists have a dream: that by 2050 they will create autonomous robots to beat the world's best human soccer players. In much the same way as IBM used its Deep Blue supercomputer in 1997 to show artificial intelligence could defeat world chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov, today's roboticists use robot footballers to show the public the power of what's coming. So in 2015, Australia won the world RoboCup for the third time, and it has the rights to hold the world championships in Sydney in 2019. Maurice Pagnucco, Head of the School of Computer Science and Engineering at UNSW, says other applications include deploying robots in urban search and rescue, and using them as office assistants and domestics.

In the domain of project management, Mike Kaye, Principal at project management and advisory Quay Consulting, says robotics is limited to data analysis, monitoring, and reporting for now. Although this may speed managing interdependencies, project management success still hinges on 'soft skills' – from communications through negotiation, peer-to-peer learning and change management. Matthew Michalewicz, CEO and co-founder of AI specialist Complexica says robotics can make us better project managers because they manage repetitive tasks, track people and timelines, monitor dependencies in supply, and audit projects.

“This allows the project manager to focus on other things – giving more time to dealing with people or conflict resolution,” Michalewicz says. “People need to focus on what machines are never good at: creativity, interpersonal skills, presentation and communications skills, relationships and negotiating.”

To read the full article, please visit: https://issuu.com/aipm_projectmanager/docs/project_manager_june_2017/28

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