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How routine is your job?

Ways in which Artificial Intelligence will change the work force and why you should care.

Written by

Ruth Kinuthia|

Artificial intelligence (AI) is impacting the future of virtually every industry and every human being. In the next five to ten years, the workplace will look fundamentally different. Thanks to technologies such as artificial intelligence, the future of work will come with great opportunities but also with plenty of challenges for organizations. It will require employees and management to adapt and work smarter. AI will augment current jobs and will arguably replace many jobs.[1]

Some sectors are at the start of their AI journey, while others are veteran travelers like the tech giants; Google, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon who collectively spend $20 billion dollars on AI products and services annually. Both have a long way to go. Regardless, the impact artificial intelligence is having on our present day lives is hard to ignore.[2]

During a lecture at Northwestern University, AI guru Kai-Fu Lee championed AI technology and its forthcoming impact while also noting its side effects and limitations. On the side effects, he warned:

“The bottom 50 percent of the world in terms of income or education, will be badly hurt with job displacement…The simple question to ask is, ‘How routine is a job?’ And that is how likely [it is] a job will be replaced by AI, because AI can, within the routine task, learn to optimize itself. And the more quantitative, the more objective the job is—separating things into bins, washing dishes, picking fruits and answering customer service calls—those are very much scripted tasks that are repetitive and routine in nature. In a matter of 5, 10 or 15 years, they will be displaced by AI.” [3]

That said, here is a look at the potential effects of Artificial intelligence on various sectors:

AI and Talent Recruitment

AI is the perfect technology to improve the hiring process and many companies worldwide such as Vodafone, Singapore Airlines and Unilever save millions of dollars per year by replacing human recruiters with AI. AI is used to quickly analyze millions of social profiles, thousands of resumes and quickly detect a list of potential candidates. AI then automatically interacts with these candidates in an engaging manner to build a healthy pipeline of the best candidates. Once candidates are selected AI can be used to assist in selecting the right candidate for the company.[4]

AI and Decision Making

In the near future, artificial intelligence will facilitate advanced automated analytics where it replaces the need for human decision-making with automated decision-making. Such analytics will enable organizations, for example, to choose the best marketing message automatically instead of needing a marketing manager to make such decisions.

Consequently this means that the traditional way of decision-making, based on experience and expertise, will be exchanged for data-driven decision-making.

Optimization of the Workplace

In 2015, the then smartest building in the world opened: The Edge in Amsterdam. This building knows who is in the building, what their preferences are, and how they like their coffee. Since then, the digital workplace is becoming increasingly intelligent thanks to sensors, machine learning and wireless (virtual) beacon technology. Hence, employees should be prepared for the smart workplace, where artificial intelligence will create a personalized customer and employee experience.

AI and Productivity

[5]It is argued that Robots do not get sick, do not need breaks and can work 24/7. As a result, companies that have incorporated AI in their workspace have seen a significant boost in their productivity and revenue with many factory workers being rendered redundant.

On a more upbeat note, it has been stressed that AI is useless in two significant ways: it has no creativity and no capacity for compassion or love. Rather, it’s a tool to amplify human creativity. The solution? Those with jobs that involve repetitive or routine tasks must learn new skills so as not to be left by the wayside; therefore employees must invest tremendously in education and training so as to remain relevant in the work force.

[1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

Written by

Ruth Kinuthia

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