The world is rather interesting these days, thanks to Artificial Intelligence (AI). The technology has long moved out of the ambit of sci-fi and has made a definite entrance into our professional lives. But how far has it really penetrated?
Today there are digital assistants scheduling meetings, chatbots working alongside teachers as their assistants and even AI working with HR to make better hiring decisions. The implications of AI in the workplace have started to get noticed. The day isn’t far when HR will leverage the combined power of human intelligence and Artificial Intelligence to deliver a more personalized employee experience.`
It has been predicted that by 2022, one in five workers will have AI as their co-worker. Imagine that!
#1 Humans and AI will work side-by-side
Today artificial intelligence is working effortlessly alongside HR managers and teaching assistants. Chatbots are quick on the uptake and, as Jill Watson, the AI-empowered teaching assistant at Georgia Institute of Technology showed, they can very soon begin to answer routine student queries. This will allow teachers and their human assistants to free-up a significant amount of time and focus on more complex areas of teaching.
As AI becomes a new, trusted member of the team, taking over more routine tasks, HR leaders will now need to spend time orienting and training chatbots, and also educating the rest of the team on how to work with them. The result of this will be more time for human employees to do tasks meant for humans, such as complex problem solving, critical thinking and creativity.
#2 Can AI take over some roles entirely?
There is a fear that AI will take over some tasks entirely. Even in the worst case scenario, this is unlikely. At best, certain activities will need to be re-defined, and that could call for revising business processes and introducing new job roles. As the point above outlines, AI can take over certain routine activities, allowing individuals who earlier performed these roles to bring greater value to their customers and employees.
#3 Sourcing and recruiting new hires
Another notable area where AI is helping companies is the way they source and recruit new hires. With the backing of AI, recruiters can prioritize jobs more efficiently, find the right talent faster, and match candidates more effectively. Rather than relying on filters such as years of experience or education levels, machine learning can help shortlist candidates based on core skills such as agility, cognitive abilities, etc. This ‘horizontal sourcing’ model can even help talent move across business verticals, domains, and industries. This is a fantastic example of AI truly reinventing a business function.
#4 Machine learning will help improve careers
There is a trend that is gradually being noticed across industries and sectors. Employees at all levels are staying 30% longer in their roles. This is an excellent opportunity for companies to help employees focus on their career and not just aim for promotions. Managers at Cisco are already leveraging machine learning to help their team members present their skills, interests, and passions, and then look for internal roles that can help further their career goals.
#5 AI as a virtual coach and to reinforce learning
Several newer companies are investing in chatbots that will provide employees with individual coaching in the workplace.
Take the example of the MIT Media Lab startup GiantOtter. The company is riding on AI to develop and train ‘Coach Otto’, a training bot that provides online coaching for companies. An employer can use this chatbot as a coach or a companion to improve an individual’s performance on the job, for instance preparing a manager for a difficult conversation with an employee.
There is no doubt that AI + human is the future of work. Now it is simply a question of businesses using AI to create a seamless employee experience. What do you think? Will the advent of AI threaten existing jobs, or will the two work seamlessly and create a more efficient system?