Dan Donovan at AES

Last week in Houston, the Augmented Enterprise Summit (AES) brought together an industry-leading group of tech leaders for a captivating panel discussion moderated by Mesmerise Group’s CTO, Dan Donovan. During this session, the panelists explored the dynamic landscape of emerging technologies and their impact on the future of work.

This article explores key insights from the Augmented Enterprise Summit session, where Dan Donovan guided an engaging discussion with Chevron, Southwest Airlines, FedEx, General Dynamics, SLB, and Boeing experts. Topics included XR applications, the significance of natural language interfaces, technological ethics, and metrics.

Watch the Full Panel Discussion on YouTube.

 XR Applications in the Post-Pandemic Era:

Dan Donovan kicked off the panel by acknowledging the rapid resurgence of industries like aviation post-pandemic. He emphasized that these industries are now engaging in extensive conversations about XR applications, such as hard skills training and digital twins. These are areas that Mesmerise Group and its fellow panelists have been actively involved in for several years. The panel recognized that this technology convergence is driven by the pressing skills gap shortage, compelling these tools to evolve into more assistive technologies. For organizations looking to embrace emerging technologies, Ed Moore from Chevron mentioned that the tech silos need to come down, and it’s important for teams to build together; he added that often success is found by creating a dedicated innovation group within an organization that examines new technologies and starts to build effective business cases for them.

Natural Language Interfaces and Removing Barriers:

The discussion then shifted to human-machine interaction. Dan Donovan pointed out that people are increasingly comfortable asking questions to artificial intelligence, thanks to natural interfaces that provide a human-like experience, lowering technology adoption barriers. Additionally, emerging technologies like brain-computer interfaces, as demonstrated by Rajat Lokesh at SLB, exoskeletons, with expertise from Ashley DeBerry at FedEx, and robotics introduce novel output interfaces for enhanced capabilities. The fundamental question that remains is, “What obstacles hinder their widespread adoption?”

Ethical Considerations in Technology

Regarding ethical considerations in technology, the discussion emphasized the increasing awareness of inherent biases within datasets, machine designs, and processes. The capacity to concurrently analyze these biases across multiple dimensions has become undeniable. The panel stressed the imperative of seamlessly integrating ethical considerations into technology solutions, aligning with the importance of sustainability.

Dr. Brian Laughlin, a human factor psychologist at Boeing, highlighted the issue of sexism manifesting in devices due to variations in head shapes. He emphasized that recognizing the physiological differences between sexes is crucial. He noted that his primary focus is on ensuring the safety of his team, underscoring the significance of this aspect of his work. Michael Zurat, General Dynamics, agreed that the work in this emerging field could be more balanced between sexes, even by considering simple things like cybersickness between men and women can make a big impact on the safety and adoption of this technology within an organization.

Defining Metrics for Success:

 As the moderator of the panel, Dan Donovan emphasized the importance of defining the right metrics, measurements, and analytical methods to showcase technology solutions’ value and return on investment. He shared an illuminating example of collaborating with an aircraft maintenance company seeking to revamp its training program by persistently asking “why.” Through this process, they unearthed the value of keeping more planes in the air for longer durations, a primary business driver. Panelist Jeffrey Berthiaume of Southwest Airlines agreed, saying, “The more the plane is in the air for us, the better it is.”

The insights from the panel shed light on the transformative potential of XR and emerging technologies in shaping the future of work. From addressing skills gaps to eradicating barriers to adoption and embracing ethical considerations, these insights offer a clear roadmap for organizations navigating the ever-evolving tech landscape.

Watch the Full Panel Discussion on YouTube.

Looking ahead, asking the right questions, and defining precise metrics will remain crucial in driving technological advancements and their real-world impact.

If you’re interested in exploring the intersection of spatial computing and AI within your enterprise, get in touch with the Mesmerise Group today.