There are predictions talking about millions of unemployed people in the next decades — primarily due to the impact of Intelligent Automation and A.I. systems.
In any case, the entire socioeconomic system is entering a phase of accelerating transformation: markets, businesses, education, government, social welfare, and employment models will be severely impacted.
Arguably , artificial intelligence (AI) is changing every aspect of how we live our lives, and our working lives certainly are not exempt from this.
What impact does artificial intelligence have on the workplace ?
Tasks that are monotonous, will be easily automated; this can gradually make certain roles obsolete. For instance, tasks and activities related to customer care/call center operation, document classification, discovery and retrieval, content moderation are more and more based on technology and automation and less on human work.
The same is true for roles related to operation and support of production lines and factories: humans are being replaced by smart robots that can safely navigate the space, find and move objects (such as products, parts or tools) or perform complex assembling operations.
A.I. proves to be very effective in handling even more complex activities — those requiring processing of multiple signals, data streams and accumulated knowledge in real-time .
Before we even set foot in a new workplace, it could soon be a fact that AI-enabled machines have played their part in ensuring we’re the right person for the job.
AI pre-screening of candidates before inviting the most suitable in for interviews is an increasingly common practice at large companies which make thousands of hires each year, and sometimes attract millions of applicants.
Multinational consumer goods manufacturer , Unilever uses a chatbot called Unabot, that employs natural language processing(NLP) to answer employees’ questions in plain, human language. Advice is available on everything from where they can catch a shuttle bus to the office in the morning, to how to deal with HR and payroll issues.
On the Job Training
Learning doesn’t end once you’ve settled into your role, and AI technology will also play a part in ongoing training for most employees in the future.
It will also assist with the transfer of skills from one generation to the next as employees move on to other companies or retire, it can help to ensure that they can leave behind the valuable experience they have gained for others to benefit from, as well as take it with them.
One of the reasons that the subject of AI in the workplace makes some people uncomfortable is because it is often thought of as something that will replace humans and lead to job losses.
However, when it comes to AI integration today, the keyword is very much “augmentation” – the idea that AI machines will help us do our jobs more efficiently, rather than replace us. A key idea is that they will take over the mundane aspects of our role, leaving us free to do what humans do best – tasks which require creativity and human-to-human interaction.
Physical robots capable of autonomous movement are becoming commonplace in manufacturing and warehousing installations, and are likely to be a feature of many other workplaces in the near future.
Mobility experts Segway have created a delivery robot which can navigate through workplace corridors to make deliveries directly to the desk. Meanwhile, security robots such as those being developed by Gamma 2 could soon be a common site, ensuring commercial properties are safe from trespassers.
Of course, there’s a potential dark side to this encroachment of AI into the workplace that’s likely to leave some employees feeling distinctly uncomfortable.
According to a Gartner survey, more than 50% of companies with a turnover above $750 million use digital data-gathering tools to monitor employee activities and performance.
This includes analyzing the content of emails to determine employee satisfaction and engagement levels.
Some companies are known to be using tracking devices to monitor the frequency of bathroom breaks, as well as audio analytics to determine stress levels in voices when staff speak to each other in the office.
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