The Future of AI in the Modern Workplace

October 21, 2019 by No Comments

Smart innovations and artificial intelligence are not just transforming our homes; they also revolutionise their respective industries and positively change the workplace. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to improve an organization’s performance, efficiency, and reliability, but is this a truly beneficial thing?

Some worry that AI’s use will lead to computers and robots replacing humans in their jobs and thus see this technological advancement as a risk rather than an opportunity to better our world.

Benefits and Responsibilities

Despite AI becoming a popular buzzword this year, companies have been urged to understand that self-learning and black-box technologies are not a cure-all. Most companies have already begun to notice AI’s amazing capabilities, using these strengths to improve human intelligence and gain real value from the results.

With mounting evidence showing the advantages of modern intelligent systems, more boardroom members are gaining better understanding of what AI can realistically deliver. According to EY Research, companies that implement AI at enterprise levels are boosting their operational efficiency, making quicker and more accurate decisions, and creating all-new services and products.

The first businesses using AI systems across the board are already enjoying a competitive advantage, minimising their operating costs, and reducing their staff forces. Of course, while this may be good from a business perspective, it is clear why this could pose a problem for those in jobs at risk of redundancy. The widespread implementation of AI innovations would likely trigger a labour security problem. Just as the move of horse betting from land-based to online spaces has shaken the industry up, so too can we expect this to happen to our workplaces as new virtual technologies take hold.

New Job Creation Expected

AI is expected to impact every business eventually, but it should be noted that not every job is at equal risk. Experts expect a relatively low work displacement rate (3%) in the ‘first wave’ of automation, but this could increase dramatically by the mid-2030s to as much as 30%. Jobs in the transport industry may be at much greater risk, while those requiring unique personal, psychological and literary skills are at a far lower risk.

Most businesses and individuals remain hopeful that this workplace-driven AI transition could create more jobs than it displaces. When we create innovative technologies, AI can affect positively affect the economy by creating new jobs that require specific skills sets to implement and manage the new systems. In EY’s study, around 80% of respondents said that a lack of these skills was the biggest challenge facing them regarding the implementation of AI systems.

Focusing on STEM Field Education

Artificial intelligence is expected to rapidly replace jobs involving routine and basic problem-solving, and may even outperform current human capabilities. AI systems can make speedy, accurate decisions in industrial settings, customer service environments, and financial institutions to name a few. Automated software will soon be responsible for authorizing loans, determining client risk, and detecting financial crimes.

Organisations will in turn benefit from more efficiency as a result of automation, which will lead to enhanced revenue streams. This will provide the money necessary to create service maintenance sector employment – although it is crucial that companies address the potential pitfalls of the technology, considering the massive range of jobs AI could displace.

Businesses will need to implement the technology in a way that allows all of their employees to benefit, and governments must ensure that AI’s benefits are equally spread throughout society to avoid inequality. An increased investment in education and more emphasis on STEM fields is a good place to start.