NPR: The Digital Industrial Revolution
Thursday, May 4, 2017 at 07:16AM
Charlie in Digital Financial Reporting

Whether you consider the changes that are occurring the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or the Digital Industrial Revolution, the rise of artificial intelligence, or refer to these changes as something else; call them what you want be the change is real.

Sometimes it is hard to separate the science-fiction from the science-fact. But not differentiating fiction from fact can lead you down the wrong path. There is also a risk of using the strategy of ignoring change.

The NPR program TED Radio Hour has an episode, The Digital Industrial Revolution, that helps you understand your future which is rapidly arriving.

There is one very, very important point that this radio program is getting right that most people get wrong.  Technical people tend to overstate the capabilities of technology, business professionals tend to under estimate the impact of technology.

Who is the world chess champion today; a computer or a human?  In 1997, IBM's Deep Blue took the title.

Today, a computer is no longer the world chess champion.  Neither is a human. Today, a team of computers and humans working together can beat any computer or any human working alone.

That is how the power of computers will be harnessed; by human and computer teamwork.  Human are good at some tasks; not as good at other tasks.  Computers are good at some tasks; not as good at other tasks.  Teaming humans and computers together and leveraging the strengths of each is how work will get done in the future.

The revolution will likely impact you sooner than you might believe.

A report created by the DATA Foundation and Deloitte, DATA Act 2022: Changing Technology, Changing Culture, predicts the following:

By 2022, if all goes well, spending information will also be automated: reported, exchanged, and audited without manual interference. Systems will deliver reports instantly; grantee and contractor software will communicate automatically with agency and government-wide systems.

2022 is only five years away. Federal government spending information "reported, exchanged, and audited without manual interference" in five years.  We will see.

What might XBRL-based financial reporting by public companies to the SEC look like in five years?  Financial reports are sets of complex logical information. Knowledge based systems are helpful tools for creating those financial reports and using the complex logical information contained in the reports.

Learning how to work effectively with you new teammates is important. Leveraging available tools properly can help you change old processes into new, improved processes.

Article originally appeared on Intelligent XBRL-based structured digital financial reporting using US GAAP and IFRS (http://xbrl.squarespace.com/).
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