Oracle’s Mark Hurd Offers Predictions for the Intersection of Cloud, Blockchain, and AI

In a wide-ranging Oracle OpenWorld keynote that included insights from political scientist Ian Bremmer via satellite and Oracle customers, such as Stitch Fix, CERN, AT&T, FedEx, and Tetration, Oracle CEO Mark Hurd presented a picture of the issues shaping change in IT.

And, as his become a customary part of his presentations, Hurd shared new predictions for the future.

AI will have major impact on two key areas: productivity and innovation, said Hurd.  

Automation is critical to future business success, he stressed, noting that automation, will reduce time to complete tasks, lead to reduction in maintenance costs and the creation of higher value jobs, and enable businesses to build new engagement models.

The combination of cloud with AI and other technologies such as blockchain, integrated as features,  will reduce cost and also reduce risk, Hurd said.

However, he added, “We don’t see AI as a separate solution. We see AI as a core feature that will get embedded into every application.” Similarly, said Hurd, “I don’t look at blockchain as a solution.  I don’t think there is going to be a ‘Blockchain, Inc.’ I think blockchain is a feature of virtually all applications that will make sense for it to be applied into for the exchange of secure information.”

Currently, said Hurd:

  • 30% of a financial analyst’s time is spent doing manual reports in Excel, but—using AI—reports will become error free and more insightful
  • 35% of a job recruiter’s day is spent on sourcing and screening candidates and AI will allow this to be cut in half
  • 65% of managers’ time is spent on manually tracking the shipment of goods, but with blockchain this could be automated for improved visibility and trust
  • 60% of phone support time for customer issues can be avoided through integrated CX and AI using a call or via a chatbot

Three Predictions

  1. By 2025, all cloud apps will include AI and these cloud apps will further distance themselves from legacy applications. AI will be pervasive and woven into all business apps and platform services—and the same will be true for technologies such as blockchain.
  2. By 2025, 85% of interactions with customers will be automated, said Hurd, noting that customer experience is fundamentally changing. AI-based digital assistants increase productivity and humanize the experience, AI-driven analytics helps business understand the complexity of all customer needs, and the Internet of Things brings customers closer to the companies that serve them. These interactions will improve service levels and engagement, allowing retailers to create personalized experiences, hotels to run 24/7 the need to have people always at the front desk ,and industries to connect with customer in new ways.
  3. AI and automation will actually add IT jobs because 60% of the IT jobs have not been invented yet (but will be by 2025), said Hurd. AI changes the productivity equation, automation addresses more complex and time consuming problems, and automation while not replacing all jobs, will help invent new ones. New jobs that will be created by 2025 include that of robot supervisor; data professional such as analyst, scientist, engineer; human-to-machine UX specialist; smart city technology designer; and AI-assisted healthcare technician.

In conclusion, Hurd said cloud is irrefutable and foundational.  Next in cloud is accelerated productivity and innovation with AI and other technologies such as blockchain integrated as features, and the use of autonomous database software reducing cost and reducing risk.