Brown University CIO: “Automation Requires Buy-In”

Prof Ravi Pendse of Brown University explains the technology automation landscape, the need for career security rather than job security, and why human contact is still valuable in the tenth episode of the Nearshore Cafe podcast series.

Robotics hand

“For automation to work, you need to get buy-in from the people potentially being displaced by automation,” said Professor Ravi Pendse, Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Brown University. Pendse believes that if we move from a focus on job security to one on career security — the evolution of roles through the lifecycle of work — automation can offer great benefits.

“Tellers in a bank are a good example,” he said, explaining that much of that routine work is being replaced with smart phones and kiosks. If the teller is then trained to become a customer experience officer, for example, then they have greater career security rather than focusing on the loss of the teller role.

He believes that human interaction will always be valuable: “No machine can replace that,” he said. Pendse discussed his views on the implementation of automation, techno-pessimism and the need for a balanced approach to automation with Managing Editor, Bianca Wright, in the latest episode of our podcast series, Nearshore Cafe.

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