In today’s ever-shifting technology landscape, automation and AI (Artificial Intelligence) solutions have made a lasting impact. When businesses use automation and AI, their employees can focus on their creative strengths. Using AI and automation gives businesses a leg up when it comes to meeting tech challenges efficiently.
Adrian Jones explains how AI and automation are changing how humans work and what these technologies could possibly look like in the future.
Shifts in the Workforce
As AI and automation are applied to more areas in the workforce, these technologies are poised to change the status quo radically. Business leaders are concerned that these changes will result in the shrinking of the workforce.
Using AI and automation, business leaders have the ability to unlock their employees’ productivity while delivering on business objectives. Strategies include rebalancing resources, investing in workforce training, and advancing new models of workplace education.
Many employees are worried that AI and automation will make their jobs obsolete, and this may be true for a particular segment of the workforce. Fortunately, most employees will be able to retrain and work with AI systems.
From a business standpoint, a shrinking workforce is generally positive since it can help to keep costs low. Companies should be aware, however, that the workforce remaining will need extra training and maybe better paid in their new job functions.
Challenges of AI and Automation
When AI technologies are put into play, business leaders will need to meet unique challenges. They must pay attention to the financial performance of their companies while making investments in hiring, training, and new technologies. Competing business objectives can make life difficult for leaders.
While business leaders may be reluctant to embrace AI, they should know that these systems can anticipate future needs and make recommendations for further developments.
Current Abilities of AI and Automated Systems
AI and automated systems have already been applied in a wide variety of industries. Perhaps the best-known application is the use of industrial robots. While this technology has been around for quite some time, its sophistication has continued to increase. Industrial robots can perform precise tasks with greater accuracy than human workers. These robots are in use in various aspects of manufacturing, particularly in the automotive industry.
AI and automation have the capability to increase productivity. Since employees will not be laboring over frontline tasks like organization and scheduling, they will be able to put more of their effort into expanding the business.
Another area where AI and automated systems shine is in HR applications. There are several new AI software packages available that automate HR tasks, including Textio, Montage, and Stella. These tools take the repetitive work out of the hands of HR professionals and enable them to spend more time on the face-to-face interactions that are the core of their business.
AI has made a name for itself in customer service as well. Chatbots are becoming more popular as a way for companies to receive frontline contact with their customer base. Presently, AI systems can answer basic questions, and when their knowledge is exceeded, they can refer the customer to a human operator. Often, these applications are seamless, meaning that the customer does not realize they are talking to an AI system.
One of the areas with the most potential for AI and automation to make a difference is data analysis. AI applications that focus on big data can identify changes in patterns, isolate trends, and create detailed reports to give employees a sense of whether they are using their data to its fullest.
AI systems furthermore, are able to predict customer behavior, drawing attention to issues that affect the bottom line. These systems can also predict what metrics the company should track to optimize performance.
Data and Information Security
AI systems are built to be more secure than legacy systems. Security “holes” persist in most legacy systems, and skilled hackers can easily exploit them. When an AI system is in charge, it is far more difficult for a bad actor to gain access to data.
Many technologies that the workforce uses every day, such as chat applications like Facebook Messenger, have inherent privacy concerns. If workplaces develop proprietary software solutions, they can keep their data safe and avoid exposing it to the outside world.
AI technology is already able to help employers train their workers. Honeywell has introduced a tool that utilizes virtual and augmented reality alongside AI for its engineers, creating a realistic training experience that can help workers understand their new positions.
This system works by putting AR headsets on current employees while they are performing their daily tasks. These recordings are played back through VR, giving new hires an excellent behind-the-scenes view of their new responsibilities.
The Competitive Advantage of AI
The first companies that apply AI systems to their entire course of business will certainly gain a competitive advantage. They will also be able to lower the cost of operations. Naturally, some employees are worried that their jobs will be the ones replaced by AI.
Up to three percent of employees might be affected in the coming years, but this could increase to as many as 30 percent by the mid-2030s. Occupations in the transportation and manufacturing arenas are at risk, but jobs requiring social and emotional interactions will remain stable. In fact, automation will help create new jobs and roles that currently don’t even exist.
Adrian Jones encourages all business leaders to look again at the possibilities of AI and automation. As AI systems replace repetitive or basic tasks, they will be able to make decisions in industrial settings. The potential for growth and change is a driver behind AI and automation. Companies need to be aware of these changes to compete in the workplace.