As a business leader, one of your main responsibilities is to move the business forward and technology plays a key role in that. In particular, artificial intelligence (AI), one of the most rapidly evolving technologies.
According to research by Accenture, AI technology can increase productivity by 40%, which makes it very attractive to company leaders. On the flipside, Pew Research reports that 72% of employees are afraid AI will steal their jobs.
So, how do you strike a balance between embracing technology and keeping humans doing what they love?
Humans And Machines Working Together
While it’s natural for people to be protective of their jobs, especially in times of uncertainty, the truth is vastly different. Artificial intelligence and humans actually enhance the capabilities of each other.
Consider the advantages AI has over people.
It’s faster, more accurate, more scalable and can analyse data at a rate we can only dream of. But, it can’t work collaboratively in teams, show leadership, or work with creativity the way humans can. AI can’t show empathy or provide in-depth customer service.
Recent studies show that in fact, the best results are always achieved when humans and AI work in tandem. As an example, consider your payroll department. You could use AI to perform initial checks of all employee timesheets. But what if there’s anomalies? Usually, AI technology can identify possible discrepancies, but it can’t investigate far past the numbers. Therefore, humans still have a crucial role to play, just without the mundane, repetitive tasks.
The Benefits Of Artificial Intelligence
There are several reasons why the collaborative intelligence of humans and machines is beneficial for businesses. Here’s a few of them, and why it doesn’t always mean job losses.
Amplifying Human Skills
Humans are great at making decisions when presented with the necessary data. However, in years gone past, humans had to do the time-consuming data analysis as well as the decision making. Artificial intelligence can now analyse huge amounts of data in seconds, providing the information we need to make great decisions quickly.
Consider you’re building custom software for a large organisation. This requires extensive process discovery, which takes time. You could, of course, spend hours interviewing staff to find out what they do every day. Or you could drastically reduce your effort by using AI to scan all existing software to find out what processes need to be considered. In this scenario, AI won’t capture everything, and it won’t capture the human frustrations with many of those processes. So, your human staff still have an important role to play – and they can now do it better thanks to AI.
Interacting More Efficiently
Do you employ IT sales staff who find themselves answering questions more than selling? A chatbot with machine-learning and natural language capabilities can do all of the basic customer service duties in your company with ease. It can access databases and relay information to customers quickly and efficiently. This leaves your sales team with more time do what they’re hired for – making sales!
Speed And Availability
Artificial intelligence is available 24/7, especially the kind that needs no human guidance. This allows businesses to connect with their customers around the clock. Again, chatbots are a great example of this, being able to answer customer queries at any time of day or night. Even better, they can gather information from these interactions, and feed it back to the sales team when they come back online.
In a factory environment, for example, machines can perform repetitive tasks faster and more efficiently than humans, and they never need to take a break.
When humans perform repetitive tasks for too long, there are bound to be mistakes. Even the best workers make errors because that’s our nature when performing mundane tasks. Take data entry for example. Not only is it time-consuming, but transferring data from one source to another manually is repetitive. It’s also inherently easy for humans to make errors. If an artificial intelligence system is programmed right, it simply doesn’t make those mistakes.
However, if certain numbers are abnormally high or low, more human analysis is required, and that’s where computers and people work more effectively alongside one another.
The Future Of AI In The Workplace
Artificial intelligence is certainly a new concept to many, and with that comes some fear. However, it’s likely that AI will end up generating more new jobs than it actually displaces. Ultimately, technology helps create more businesses and even new industries, resulting in a lot of new jobs.
If you’re looking to advance your IT or digital career, or you’re a business leader looking for the right people to join your team, feel free to contact us.