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Senior Managing Director at Accenture presents the Technology Vision 2018 report at HEC Paris

On March 28, 2018, Yves Bernaert, Senior Managing Director at Accenture, shared his insights on the Accenture Technology Vision 2018 report with the Executive MBA participants  from HEC Paris Executive Education. He has worked at Accenture for over 20 years and is currently leading Accenture Technology’s efforts across Europe, Africa and Latin America. Bernaert gave a talk on how technology is creating increasingly inventive products and services, allowing businesses to make unforeseen changes in the way we live and interact.  He outlined five emerging trends from the Accenture Technology Vision 2018 Report that are shaping the way technology is increasing businesses’ impact in society, all the while accompanied by impressive on-screen animations to “make the impossible seem possible”.

Yves Bernaert Accenture presents the Technology Vision 2018 report at HEC Paris

Citizen AI: Educating responsible members of society  

The increased capabilities of artificial intelligence has a major impact on people’s lives. Businesses must ensure they educate their AIs to act as responsible and productive members of society. For example, AI-based solutions help fashion stylists at San Francisco-based Stitch Fix curate customers’ outfits, and assist claims adjustors at Ant Financial Insurance in China in making insurance payout decisions.

Extended reality: The end of distance

Extended reality technologies are removing the distance between people, information, and experiences, transforming the ways people live and work. Bernaert discussed the real estate company Redfin, which uses virtual reality to sell homes. Potential clients can thus see the home from a distance, making it easier for them to decide to make a purchase.

Data veracity: The importance of trust

Bernaert also discussed the data veracity and emphasized the importance of businesses building trust with their clients. 82 percent of executives responding to the Technology Vision survey report that their organizations are increasingly using data to drive critical and automated decision-making, at an unprecedented scale.  Businesses are now running on data, and thus are exposed to  a new vulnerability: that of inaccurate data and misinformation, both of which may lead to skewed decisions with a major impact on society.

Frictionless business: Built to partner at scale

There is an increase of frictionless business today, whereby businesses re-architect themselves, then look to build technology-based partnerships for growth. Bernaert gives the example of Nike collaborating with Instagram, so potential clients can purchase Nike products directly through Instagram as part of a seamless process.  Another example he gave was Accenture and Microsoft teaming up on a blockchain-based digital ID network to create a solution for the 1.1 billion people living without an officially recognized identity.

Internet of Thinking: Creating Intelligent Distributed Systems

Robotics, immersive reality, AI and connected devices require businesses to overhaul their existing infrastructures. The Technology Vision Report 2018 gives the example of NeuroPace’s neurostimulation device, which invisibly and autonomously monitors for and prevents seizures, reducing incidence by 44 percent after just the first year. Bernaert emphasized the positive impact technology can have on businesses and on humanity as a whole.

The Technology Vision 2018 report shows businesses how they can become more efficient and appealing to clients, but also shows us how technology can be used to transform our lives and contribute to the greater good.