This week in New Zealand, the APEC Summit will officially come to an end. You might be wondering… “What is APEC?” APEC stands for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, an economic forum consisting of 21 countries whose primary goal is to create a more inclusive, sustainable economy in the Asia-Pacific region. One of the main themes of this year’s summit is digital disruption and the benefits that come with digital trade and transformation in creating a fairer, more sustainable economy and society. Speakers include big names such as Amal Clooney and brands like Microsoft and Tesla… wait, did I mention Māia will be in attendance as the master of ceremonies and host? In keeping with the theme of digital disruption and by utilizing the latest in digital avatar and AI innovation, Māia is a young, recently qualified journalist from Aotearoa, who is a digital human; yes, you read that correctly. Developed using Human OS 2.0 technology, founder and CBO of Soul Machine, Greg Cross, revealed that Māia is the newest iteration of Soul Machine’s autonomous animation platform. “With this innovation, we are creating an astonishingly life-like digital workforce for the increasingly digital world in which we live and transact business. Digital workers, like Māia, can bring your ecommerce brand experiences to life today, help fill the gaps in our education and healthcare providers, and because they are 3D, they are ready for the rapidly evolving metaverse,” Cross explained.
In this week’s readings, Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen who introduced the theory of digital disruption, stated that digital disruption is often misused and has evolved into a buzzword. Christensen reinforces four key themes of disruption:
- Disruption is a process, not a moment in time.
- Disruptors typically utilize different business models, not just different products or services, from incumbents.
- Disruptive innovation does not guarantee success.
- A company does not necessarily have to disrupt its core offering when it is being disrupted.
I think that Māia represents a major shift in AI innovation especially as it relates to the digital workforce but, to Christensen’s point, there is no guarantee of success. While Māia can speak and interact with the audience, there are obviously still limitations on her capabilities.
Do you think Christensen would agree that Māia fits the bill as a true disruptor?
What business need do you think Māia meets?