News Release
News Release

The Three Horizons of AI -Enabled Work and Workers


NTT DATA INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT CONSULTING, Inc. ("NTTDIOMC"), and the US-based Institute for the Future ("IFTF"), a renowned research and education non-profit futures organization, embarked on a groundbreaking research journey in September 2023. This collaboration leveraged NTTDIOMC’s well-experienced domestic knowledge and IFTF’s expertise in foresight tools and research to delve into the transformative role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in shaping the future of work. With a specific focus on Japanese organizations, the project provided in-depth analysis across six key industries, revealing critical insights into AI’s current capabilities, its expected evolution over the next five years, and visionary projections for the next decade. The research, enriched by two interactive workshops, combined Japan-specific insights with IFTF’s globally recognized methodology, offering an unique perspective on how AI is reshaping work and workers, and what this means for the future of Japanese business ecosystems.


The rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not just revolutionizing industries; it's redefining the very boundaries of possibility. What was once unfathomable a mere five years ago is now the new norm, thanks to AI's transformative power. Initially seen as innovative tools, AI technologies have evolved into revolutionary forces, reshaping work, communication, and decision-making. This rapid pace of change has compelled businesses, policymakers, and workers to adapt. AI has enhanced business efficiency and worker capabilities, but it has also led to job displacement and raised questions about the seamless integration of these technologies. The challenge now lies in recognizing, integrating, and adapting AI in a way that balances its multifaceted impact on businesses and workers. Questions about ethical implications, societal impact, and long-term sustainability are paramount as we navigate this new landscape. Despite these challenges, the undeniable truth is that AI technologies are here to stay, continuing to play a crucial role in shaping our world.

Overview of Collaborative Research

In a groundbreaking partnership, NTTDIOMC and IFTF embarked on a journey to redefine the future of work through the lens of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Utilizing IFTF’s Prepare-Foresight-Insight-Action methodology, this collaboration focused on delivering actionable insights and practical strategies across six pivotal Japanese industries. Exhibit 1 provides an in-depth look at IFTF’s methodology.

Exhibit 1: IFTF’s Prepare-Foresight-Insight-Action Methodology


IFTF’s Three Horizons Framework: A Practical Approach

This research was structured around IFTF’s Three Horizons Framework, a strategic tool for envisioning AI's impact over different time scales:

  1. Horizon 1 – The Present: This phase provided a comprehensive snapshot of the current AI ecosystem. We identified key drivers and signals of change, showcasing their impact across various business functions. Real-world case studies highlighted how companies are already leveraging AI to enhance capabilities, setting a precedent for future innovation.
  2. Horizon 2 – The Transitional Future (5 years): Building on the immediate insights, this horizon offered forecasts for the next five years. It focused on the transitional nature of AI adoption, identifying challenges and opportunities, particularly in organizational culture and values.
  3. Horizon 3 – The Long-term Future (10 years): Looking a decade ahead, this horizon explored radical innovations and their transformative potential. We forecasted detailed scenarios for six key Japanese industries – Railway, Air Travel, Real Estate, Insurance, Telecommunications, and TV & Media – mapping out the profound impacts AI could have on these sectors.

Exhibit 2: The Three Horizon Framework


Collaborative Workshops: Bridging Theory and Practice

Central to our research were the collaborative workshops conducted by NTTDIOMC and IFTF. These sessions were instrumental in generating the content that underpins our report, blending IFTF’s foresight expertise with NTTDIOMC’s practical approach. The workshops not only enriched our understanding but also ensured that the strategies developed are grounded in real-world applicability, especially for the six industries at the forefront of AI transformation.

Six Industries: A Glimpse into the AI-Driven Future

Our research delved into six key Japanese industries, each standing at a unique crossroads in the AI revolution. In the Railway sector, AI is predicted to revolutionize safety and efficiency, enhancing predictive maintenance and passenger experience. The Air Travel industry is on the brink of a transformation, with AI optimizing flight operations and improving customer service. In Real Estate, AI's impact is twofold: streamlining property management processes and revolutionizing the way we interact with living spaces. The Insurance industry is leveraging AI for more accurate risk assessment and personalized policy offerings. In Telecommunications, AI is the driving force behind network optimization and the development of new customer-centric services. Lastly, the TV & Media industry is witnessing a paradigm shift with AI-curated content and personalized viewing experiences. Across these sectors, AI is not just a tool for incremental change but a catalyst for redefining business models, customer experiences, and operational efficiencies.

About the Future: A Broader Perspective

As we navigate the intricate landscape of AI's evolution, it's essential to recognize its broader implications beyond specific industries. This report offers a macro perspective, underscoring AI's potential to redefine societal norms, challenge existing paradigms, and foster unprecedented opportunities for innovation.


In this era of transformative change, the future of AI transcends industry boundaries. Its ripple effects will be felt across the global landscape, necessitating a collaborative approach to innovation. This section serves as a call to action for collective efforts from businesses, policymakers, technologists, and society at large. 

Invitation to Explore Further

This press release offers just a glimpse into our comprehensive research. We invite you to delve into the full report for a deeper understanding of how AI is shaping the future of industries and the innovative strategies that will drive tomorrow’s success.

About IFTF

Institute for the Future (IFTF) is the world’s leading futures organization. For over 55 years, businesses, governments, and social impact organizations have depended upon IFTF’s global forecasts, custom research, and foresight training to navigate complex change and develop future-ready strategies. Our mission is to prepare the world to create better, more equitable futures by disrupting short-term thinking with visions of transformative possibilities. Institute for the Future is a registered 501(c)(3), women-led, nonprofit organization based in Palo Alto, California. iftf.org


NTT DATA INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT CONSULTING, Inc. was established in 1991 as a 100% subsidiary of NTT DATA Japan Corporation, the largest system integrator in Japan. With approximately 400 professionals and staffs, we deliver cutting-edge consulting and advisory services in areas such as the public, financial and industry sector. We are committed to provide strategic foresight and dedicated to empowering organizations with forward-thinking strategies, navigating complex challenges to drive transformative change and sustainable growth.


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