The term “artificial” doesn’t really do the next generation, with the attitude of “how we will get things done,” justice.
Artificial refers to a machine doing the work rather than a human, and the “Augmented Intelligence” might be more appropriate. Many agree that repetitive tasks and to-dos should be done by someone other than humans.
Take a robotic vacuum, for example. As I write this, I am vacuuming or should I say Ivan is vacuuming. It has an intelligence of where it has covered and what areas of my home need the most attention. It doesn’t slack, cut corners or decide it is too tired to get the job done. Simply put, it is more efficient than me. I also have way more visibility into what is going on with the vacuum, so in that sense it is much more efficient as well.
Now for a definition of Artificial intelligence (AI) – this one from wahtis.com gives the best understanding within the context of executive management:
Artificial Intelligence is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines. These processes include learning (the acquisition of information and rules for using the information), reasoning (using rules to reach approximate or definite conclusions) and self-correction. Particular applications of AI include expert systems, speech recognition and machine vision.
Because hardware, software and staffing costs for AI can be expensive, many vendors are including AI components in their standard offerings, as well as access to Artificial Intelligence as a Service (AIaaS) platforms. AI as a Service allows individuals and companies to experiment with AI for various business purposes and sample multiple platforms before making a commitment. Popular AI cloud offerings include Amazon AI services, IBM Watson Assistant, Microsoft Cognitive Services and Google AI services.
Now let’s look at examples of how AI is being applied. Let’s start with Human Resources (HR) and workforce management. It is interesting it is referred to as Human, wonder if that will evolve as new AI functionality is brought to the table.
AI tools much like databases are only as smart and good as the data that is input into them. When it comes to HR practices the potential for bias is inherent, thus the Human part. You have to remember that people determine what data points should be used in the training of an AI program or process, and people hold biases some even unconscious.
The bottom line to remember is AI will simply improve a process, service or delivery, not replace the humans that use them – it will augment everything it is applied to. We are seeing that AI functionality is really being used with the repetitive tasks so that leaders and teams can focus on more strategic and creative solutions within organizations.
Areas AI is being applied that is impacting the next generation workforce are in administrative areas and productivity as well as HR areas like recruiting, hiring, and onboarding.
With the workforce of the future starting to define itself as remote, specialized and committed to social causes, AI will make a huge impact in finding the right people, holding on to them and developing them into efficient, passionate virtual teams.
Most of us have used a lot of AI powered tools we just aren’t recognizing it. For example, in the administrative and productivity area there is X.ai. It is an AI-powered personal assistant that helps scheduling, rescheduling, and cancelling meetings.
Zoom has a feature called Otter.ai that automatically records, transcribes, and even distributes meeting notes. I have integrated both of those into my arsenal of apps and tools that have helped me be more efficient.
Recruiters and hiring managers use applications like Textio that pulls information from the job postings across multiple organizations in order to build more compelling job descriptions. Diversity and inclusion are the hot issues in recruiting and hiring and there is an app for that, Palatine Analytics. It assists in identifying inclusion issues.
Chorus is a great example of how AI is transforming these areas of HR. Chorus first learns by observing how different employees conduct sales calls while they happen, offering tips and correcting mistakes.
Another example, Cogito, helps customer service employees provide better phone support by providing real-time suggestions to representatives on how to improve the conversation.
My team also uses Grammarly to enhance all of our written content produced for Women’s Executive Board.
All of this to paint a picture of what AI will mean for future of our work environments. Deloitte has done a lot of research in these areas and in their 2017 report on the future of work, they state that “while tasks are being automated, the ‘essentially human’ aspects of work are becoming more important.” Outsourcing the tasks that a machine can do opens up opportunity for the humans in the organization to use their critical thinking and creativity skills
Maybe the most significant aspect of AI with regards to your plan of action is empowering your employees to embrace innovation as well as to comprehend its significance to the future of your organization.
Since AI items can automate ordinary errands, complete tasks in a split second that recently took days, and oversee huge amounts of data — these advancements will enable your workers to concentrate on more interesting work, work that ties their efforts directly to the innovative drive of the company.
For C-suite leaders who don’t see themselves as technical experts, AI does not need to be a mystery – or something passed along to IT to take charge of.
Truth be told, it is significant for each business head to set aside the time and effort to examine how AI can be incorporated into existing procedures to automate tasks, improve the employee experience and ultimately, increase profitability.
Remember AI should augment the collective intelligence of the organization’s assets – both people and machines.
Copyright, Annette White-Klososky
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