Intelligence Amplification: Unlocking Limitless Potential for Deskless Workforces

People + Intelligence Is The Future of Frontline Work

As a concept, Intelligence Amplification isn’t anything new. The term has been around since the 1950s when W. Ross Ashby wrote the Introduction to Cybernetics.

In the time since Ashby, though, there’s been much debate around whether organizations should pursue Artificial Intelligence (AI) or Intelligence Amplification (IA). At Orion, I’m proud to say we use both, with Artificial Intelligence serving the greater goal of Intelligence Amplification for the Deskless Workforce (or, “Connecting the Deskless Workforce,” if you look at our company tagline).

“The distinction between AI and IA is as simple as it is significant. AI makes machines autonomous and detached from humans; IA, on the other hand, puts humans in control and leverages computing power to amplify our capabilities.” — WIRED

Intelligence Amplification:

At Orion, this distinction between AI and IA is much more than a concept or banal platitude. The philosophies with which a technology company develops its software or an organization rolls out its digital transformation initiatives to its deskless workers are as crucial as the technology itself. We’re passionate about helping frontline workforces use Intelligence Amplification to dramatically improve safety, increase productivity, and optimize operational processes.

In this blog post, I’ll answer three questions:

  1. What is Intelligence Amplification for the deskless workforce?
  2. Why did Orion build Intelligence Amplification for the deskless workforce?
  3. How soon can I implement Intelligence Amplification for my deskless workforce?

By the end of this blog post, you’ll understand why Intelligence Amplification unlocks unlimited potential for deskless workforces and why it’s mission-critical to have Intelligence Amplification built into your collaboration solution.

If you’re already sold on the concept of IA for your frontline workers, go ahead and skip to Question 3 or email [email protected] with any specific questions you might have. This blog post is the first of a series of posts about Intelligence Amplification, where I’ll dive into specific examples of how Intelligence Amplification serves deskless workers in industries like retail, hospitality, manufacturing, oil and gas, the military, and more.

1. What is Intelligence Amplification for the deskless workforce?

One major goal of digital transformation is optimizing existing processes so operational efficiencies and organizational outputs can improve. Intelligence Amplification puts deskless workers in charge of optimizing those business processes with real-time access to systems, data, and subject matter experts.

If you have used a virtual assistant like Siri or Alexa, you have used a form of Intelligence Amplification. Those assistants provide access to the data you need when you need it, but they certainly don’t make your decisions for you.

“Intelligence amplification is the use of technology to augment human intelligence. And a paradigm shift is on the horizon, where new devices will offer less intrusive, more intuitive ways to amplify our intelligence.” — Harvard Business Review

Of course, Orion’s Intelligence Amplification capabilities go well beyond virtual assistants, inventory checks, and running license plate numbers. Our IA technology is built collaboratively with our customers and industry experts to ensure deskless workers in every industry can meet the objective of optimizing processes and improving productivity.

This is Orion’s stated goal for Intelligence Amplification:

Amplify employee intelligence by providing real-time context and access to systems, data, and SMEs to dramatically improve safety, productivity, and customer engagement.

Intelligence Amplification is a large part of the Orion Business Value Model and how we’ve built our voice-first intelligent collaboration platform that connects deskless workers in any industry.

The Orion Innovation Model

Diagram of the Orion Business Value Model: a pyramid showing the 5 steps of the transformation journey: voice-first collaboration, operational control, process automation, intelligence amplification, and analytics

Orion built Intelligence Amplification technology for organizations looking to digitally transform their deskless workforces by connecting them to the rest of the digital enterprise with real-time information at the point of work.

Doesn’t Orion use Artificial Intelligence?

Yes, but always in service of the deskless worker, so they can eliminate routine tasks, focus on higher value items, and make the best decisions possible — the value is in increasing the power of the deskless worker.

“Artificial intelligence, it seems, has a PR problem. While it’s true that today’s machines can credibly perform many tasks (playing chess, driving cars) that were once reserved for humans, that doesn’t mean that the machines are growing more intelligent and ambitious. It just means they’re doing what we built them to do.” — Jerry Kaplan, Artificial Intelligence Expert and Futurist, Stanford University

Technically, Orion’s Analytics solution could fall into the broad AI category, as we use a substantial amount of signals from employee metadata, predictive analytics, and machine learning to forecast and optimize deskless worker processes. However, we leverage all of the power of that data to make frontline workers more intelligent about the way they do their jobs and the way they communicate with one another.

Or, to put it in terms your average sci-fi fan would understand, Orion’s Artificial Intelligence is much more the J.A.R.V.I.S./F.R.I.D.A.Y. to your frontline workers’ Iron Man/Tony Stark and not the HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey to your frontline workers’ Dave Bowman.

2. Why did Orion build Intelligence Amplification for the deskless workforce?

Technology is rapidly changing the landscape of every industry.

Studies from Accenture show that leading enterprises are compressing a decade of digital transformation in 1-2 years and that 83% of executives agree that their organization's business and technology strategies are becoming inseparable. In supply chain alone, only 4% of Chief Supply Chain Officers view their operations as future-ready and 34% expect to be there by 2023, which is an ambitious undertaking.

83% of executives 

agree that their organization’s business and technology strategies are becoming inseparable.

Leading enterprises are compressing a decade of digital transformation in 

1-2 years

The Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, big data, and cloud storage have all changed the game for real-time data collection and analysis like never before. Now, frontline workers must have access to this massive amount of information right at their fingertips.

As organizations leverage digital transformation more and more, it's essential that frontline workers aren’t left behind. Intelligence Amplification becomes the path that truly connects the deskless workforce to the rest of the digital enterprise.

Many industries with frontline workforces have large seasonal fluctuations, contractors, high turnover rates, and use complex machinery that creates safety issues. Intelligence Amplification is the fastest way to get deskless workers up to speed and keep them productive and safe.

Orion’s IA workflows allow frontline workers to learn more about new processes and products in real time by connecting them to manuals and best-practice guides. Our IA workflows deliver deskless workers predictive insights at speed from their backend systems and empower them to address common mistakes and identify opportunities to capitalize on customer behavior patterns with reminders for key steps and precautions. If a customer has a specific or nuanced question, Orion’s Intelligence Amplification instantly connects frontline workers to knowledge bases or subject matter experts (SMEs) for real-time information.

In short, we built our Intelligent Amplification capabilities to connect and empower the audience we care about most: deskless workers.

 

Orion Intelligence Amplification serves deskless workers in industries like energy, hospitality, retail, and more

 

3. How soon can I implement Intelligence Amplification for my deskless workforce?

Intelligence Amplification is available for your workforce today. This is because Orion’s collaboration technology solves for something you are probably already using in an inefficient or outdated way. Your organization is likely using radios, multiple devices, or push-to-talk applications to communicate with each other, and none of these solutions connect to backend systems, IoT sensors, knowledge bases, or SMEs who in many cases will be out of range of radio networks.

Orion’s voice-first intelligent collaboration platform not only solves for multimodal communication and operational control, but for process automation, analytics, and of course, Intelligence Amplification, as well.

Orion customers who use our Intelligence Amplification technology see dramatic improvement in customer satisfaction, employee productivity and safety, operational efficiencies, and organizational outputs. This is because we built our collaboration solution with the goal of connecting and empowering the deskless workforce — not just making machines smarter.

As technology advances continue to transform every industry, it’s imperative deskless workers aren’t left behind. Intelligence Amplification becomes not only the way to increase your organization’s productivity — but could very well be the variable that stands between you and blowing past your competition.

Achieving Intelligence Amplification for your organization is as simple as investing in a voice-first intelligent collaboration platform that connects your frontline workers to systems, data, and SMEs in real time. And it’s possible today.

Want to know more? Let’s talk.

This blog post is the first of a series of posts about Intelligence Amplification, where I’ll dive into specific examples of how Intelligence Amplification serves deskless workers in industries like retail, hospitality, manufacturing, oil and gas, the military, and more. If you have any specific questions, email me at [email protected] with the subject line “Intelligence Amplification Blog.”

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