Category Archives: Software CEO

Observations on the Roles of Machines and Humanity by ATS Digital Services CEO Robert Deignan

Robert Deignan is CEO and co-founder of ATS Digital Services, a multi-service tech support and resource company. He received his bachelor’s degree in business management at Purdue University and shortly thereafter began his over-two-decade career in the tech sector.

His first startup was the tech-based company, Fanlink, after which he began work at iS3 Inc., a technical support company in the capacity of executive vice president. His current work is at ATS Digital.

Given the nature of Mr. Deignan’s work and career experience, he has taken the question of job automation into consideration, and his response probably doesn’t parallel any widespread concerns of machine usurpation.

The topic has also been a subject of study for a number of institutions, including the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford, which put together observations from 352 leaders in the field. In general, the consensus was that the more complex tasks that require adaptation are likely to be out of reach for some time.

Mr. Deignan’s assessment pretty closely mirrors that response. He believes that the most frank approach to the question is to work with what you find. That really means adapt. Treat it as any other change humanity has encountered through history. In specific terms, the consensus is that half of all jobs would take another 120 years to be replaced. Machines are still mostly in the realm of task repetition or direct situational processing. Jobs that require intuition or even abstract thought are still outside the range of reliability.

Robert Deighton’s diagnosis is that something like 60 percent of jobs can or will be partially automated. What that means is that people will not only be better off focusing on but also will have the opportunity to focus on further job aspects that would benefit by more attention and thereby better serve to provide a deeper understanding of industry and to inform an expanded scope of the nature of jobs and careers.

That is, observe the new form of industry and build on it.