If you have seen the film 'Minority Report' you will understand the concept of 'Precrime,' they use three gifted humans (called "Pre-Cogs") with special powers to see into the future and predict crimes beforehand.

Well that's Hollywood, and it was an interesting idea, but at Hitachi, we are passionate about developing solutions that can aid public safety in the real world, we don't have "Pre-Cogs", but we do have some ingenious Artificial Intelligence (AI).

So does this mean that machines will replace human's, yes and no, as the potential for automation differs dramatically across sectors and activities. The level of potential automation is limited by the amount of predictable physical work, and conversely, the level of automation is lower when there is less predictable work. Think about car production plants, very automated because there are a large number of repetitive tasks on an assembly line yet construction of an office block offers a lower potential of automation.

When considering public safety, the human working with emerging technologies will be the new norm. The film made you question the implications of a ‘Precrime’ unit with overbearing pervasive powers to arrest you before you committed a crime.

The role of technology companies will be to educate and comply with regulations to calm fears of innocent people being unjustifiably watched or targeted. AI prediction tools have the potential to remove or reduce human bias, rather than reinforcing it. If approached with an open mind AI and the technologies emerging from the field could profoundly transform society for the better.