28 April 2020
Artificial Intelligence has gone from being depicted as a primary character in sci-fi movies, to being a buzzword for quite a while, and finally actually penetrating today’s professional workspaces. It has brought with it a risk of unemployment for 38% of the US workforce (35% in Germany and 30% in the UK) according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. But asssuming its adoption continues without any hiccups, will the incorporation of AI in business be as bad as the popular notion suggests it will be?
Answering that is a little complicated. There is no denying that we are inevitably moving towards a model that relies heavily upon AI to make business tasks easier and more efficient, and we’re already pretty deep down the rabbit hole.
This decade has seen tremendous adoption of AI in active roles with 23% of businesses incorporating Artificial Intelligence. Often, with rising costs of running a business, companies also feel a need to rely on AI to get their work done. As a result, 63% of the companies say that the pressure to reduce expenses will require them to adopt Artificial Intelligence. With support in such magnitude, adoption will only increase further and according to Markets and Markets, it is estimated that AI would have grown into a $190 billion by the end of 2025. IDC also predicts that 75% of all companies will use AI in their apps and software.
AI-based Human Resource assistants have already established their presence in some advanced workplaces around the globe. With an increasing number of organisations opting to use AI assistants in HR, it is only a matter of time before we see them practically everywhere. AI tools will shoulder a considerable number of internal processes at a workplace, and make them quick, and streamlined for efficiency.
So, is your workspace ready for what’s coming? Artificial Intelligence is being adopted with some reluctance due to some of the issues discussed above, but it can also certainly assist employees and the company itself in the long run. Let’s take a deeper dive and figure if your workplace is ready for the revolution:
Delegating tasks that require no human input and are mundane could prove to be very effective in moving manual focus to more quality work. Employees could use this to an advantage and essentially get more work done, increase overall performance.
AI can transform the administrative work that is carried out by employees today. It will, in all likelihood, do most of the heavy lifting by taking care of the daily grunt work that comes with Human Resources. The task of maintaining data that HR currently majorly focusses on will all be seamlessly handled by the AI assistant. Artificial Intelligence will soon revolutionise data analytics. With the enormous amount of data being generated every day, AI can dive deeper into the analytics and produce better predictive analysis and structure going forward.
An AI assistant in human resources would be quite a helpful tool for any company. The HR department is shouldered with the responsibility of maintaining employee assessments, guiding workflow and processes, tracking and cultivating talent in the office, and recruiting greater talent for the organisation. This requires significant dedication and patience. So if you are chasing perfection, an AI assistant can act as a fillip to enhance this task in a timely or orderly fashion.
Talent acquisition is where AI has been most useful; with the ability to go through countless potential employees and talent around the globe, AI assistant can easily figure out who fits the bill perfectly. While it took months for organisations to make a list of the promising potential employees for recruiting, now, with AI assistants, it can be a matter of minutes.
AI assistants could also help by evaluating employees and optimising team structure based on complementary skills and abilities of employees.
With humans and AI working side by side, there are certainly new managerial roles that may pop up. AI could be great as assistants, but as we saw with the industrial revolution centuries ago, new tech adoption doesn’t necessarily eliminate jobs – it often just changes their nature.
So far, AI seems to be great for incorporating into a typical workspace, however, there are certain aspects that we ought to keep in mind. In a survey by Deloitte, only 31% of respondents felt they were ready for AI in their industry.
With the introduction of AI in the workplace, the job description at many positions is bound to change. The HR department will need to upskill its workforce while making sure they themselves are prepared for the change. It makes little sense to have an AI assistant in your office if the employees aren’t inducted about their jobs.
Regardless of the state of AI adoption, transparency is an important aspect in any workplace. But with AI assistants in place, it becomes imperative to have a considerable degree of transparency that will satisfy all employees. With an AI assistant, an increasing number of decisions are likely to fall under its ambit. With that in mind, it is essential that your workplace has a plan in place to ensure the process behind this is transparent so that employees can have access to all the information leading to the decisions.
Incorporating AI can also mean that significant authority may get concentrated in the hands of the few who manage these tools, which can pose a variety of challenges or concerns that will need addressing. With AI assistants relying almost entirely on data and rigid programmed rules, one could argue that it is an advantage because of the reduced probability of errors, and increased efficiency potential. However, another perspective would shed light on the perils of heavy dependency on automated tools – an organisation could potentially lose essential work and almost all functionality in case of technical errors.
With every major step there comes an array of pros and cons, and when adapting to the change is paramount, working around it should be a high priority. If implemented right, the symbiotic relationship between AI and Humans could turn out to be one of the greatest triumphs in the business and corporate sectors. Not only can this relationship mean higher efficiency and performance, this could very possibly be an evolution of how companies work. Considering all the facts, it is certainly safe to say that AI is the future of industry.