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Artificial intelligence (AI) is already working its way into our lives in many different ways. Self-driving vehicles are on the roads, digital assistants, like Siri, Alexa, and Cortana, help us with our schedules and shopping, and it’s diagnosing diseases in healthcare. It’s safe to say, AI is here to stay, and it will be used in more and more ways in the future.
It’s also revolutionizing the way we work. However, despite the doom and gloom the science fiction movies predict, AI isn’t going to take over the world. The machines won’t be rising up to overthrow their creators, and we don’t need to fear for our lives when a version of HAL 9000 decides it doesn’t want to be disconnected. We also don’t need to worry about our jobs. While some jobs will be lost, other jobs will be redefined, and others will be created.
Although changes in the workplace due to AI are inevitable, they won’t be as dramatic as many fear. Like the industrial revolutions from the past, it’s likely this version of a workplace revolution caused by AI will create more jobs than it eliminates. That said, how will AI change businesses in the future?
1. Human resources will change
AI will improve and streamline some aspects of HR departments. AI provides the ability to scan 1000s of job applications and sort out those with the desired skillset. After sorting out the best candidates, AI can then be used to administer online evaluations and grade them. It can also lead to greater diversity by eliminating any bias in the hiring process and performance reviews. Workers and potential employees will be evaluated in a way that is based more on facts and less on any unintentional biases that exist.
2. Jobs will be created
This one is a bit controversial because, usually, the main fear when it comes to AI is that it will take everyone’s job. Naturally, some jobs will be displaced, but others will be created. Employees will be needed to analyze the decisions AI makes and manage the algorithms it operates under. There will also be people needed who can deliver empathy, provide leadership, and delegate tasks.
3. Better customer service
Chatbots are already in use in customer service, and their use will become even more significant as the technology develops further. This leaves customer service agents with more time to solve more significant problems and deliver empathy to their customers. AI also has the potential to examine large amounts of customer data and make predictions based on that information. For example, AI could spot trends in the service being provided to a customer and predict eventual problems that may arise.
4. Automation will become more common
Automation is the most noticeable change we’ll see in the workplace. Chatbots are already helping automate customer service, and they’ll only get better at that. Automated machinery and vehicles will also steadily increase in the years to come. In a nutshell, every aspect of a job that can be automated most likely will be at some point.
5. Current jobs will be different
As AI and robotics develop further, some jobs will look very different. For instance, jobs that require the operation of machinery onsite may, in the future, be operated offsite by a remote worker. More emphasis will be placed on the soft skills like empathy, creativity, and leadership. Of course, technical skills will still be necessary, but the human touch will become more and more critical as AI becomes more developed.
6. An altered employee experience
We can expect to see more AI and robots in many work environments. For example, employees working in manufacturing factories and warehouses could, and some do now, find themselves working next to robots. This will only increase in the future. Even in traditional or virtual office environments, an employee’s experience will be impacted. It’ll start the moment they’re recruited, throughout their onboarding, and continue with the AI evaluation of their work.
7. We’ll be better at our jobs
With automation steadily increasing in the workplace, human workers will be freed from some of the more repetitive and mundane tasks they currently do. In turn, this will allow them to focus on more complex tasks, provide the human touch to customers, and avoid any number of other things that can be dull or cumbersome to do. AI can also monitor the flow of work and make suggestions for improvements.
8. Services offered will be smarter
Many businesses are already operating under a subscription model. Some good examples of this model in action are Netflix, Blue Apron, Loot Crate, Dollar Shave Club, SaaS companies, etc. These companies accumulate a treasure trove of data about their customers and their customers’ eating, shopping, viewing, and otherwise personal habits. With AI having the ability to examine all of that information, businesses can provide a better service that is more aligned with what their customer actually wants to watch, eat, buy, etc.
9. The ways we run our business will adapt
AI can complement company leaders by spotting trends in the workplace and determining solutions for some challenges a business is facing. Additionally, there is already an AI application for project management that not only automates easy tasks but can also develop a deeper understanding of the project. With that enhanced understanding, it can perform more difficult tasks and make suggestions for streamlining the workflow of the project. On top of that, it’s expected that the AI of the future will be more involved in conducting how a business operates.
It’s a safe bet that AI isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Businesses, and individuals, should prepare themselves now but not with fear or desperation in mind. While it may seem daunting, it’s something to embrace and adapt to.