Robots are the future and if we reference the movies like The Terminator, The Matrix, and Blade Runner, we are at war with the machines — and the future is not bright for humans. Robots overpower humans because of their productivity and accuracy.
Outside of Hollywood, robots still hold the same power but algorithms for machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) depend on human interactions. These technologies require human input to create intuitive digital experiences that predict and satisfy the needs and desires of other humans.
Today, voice assistants provide quick answers to your questions. Chatbots are programmed to help answer HR questions or even remind you of upcoming meetings. These are just some of the many benefits of artificial intelligence. All this is to say that virtual assistants will affect the future workplace for the better by giving each employee the support they need to excel.
AI is an opportunity for many companies to increase efficiency and elevate business performance. Far from a job killer, AI is a job augmenter. According to Gartner, AI is now creating more jobs than it is displacing. More than two million net jobs will be created by 2025.
There are 3 mindset changes you and your business need to make in order to capitalize on the benefits of an AI-powered workforce.
1. There will be job displacement, not replacement
People fear the unknown and the fear of automation stems from the level of uncertainty that the workforce feel about the future of their jobs. With the looming digitization, Forrester Consulting found that employees are unsure if they are competent enough for what their job will require and if they are ready to face the level of complexity, they need to upskill.
It is vital that companies upskill their employees as automation occurs. Picking up new skills ensures that they won’t lose their place in the job market. Otherwise, employees themselves should build a transition plan by learning new skills through online classes. McKinsey estimates that increased investment and productivity through automation will lead to economic growth for full employment if displaced workers move to new jobs within a year.
2. Continuous learning is vital
Displaced workers due to automation are only part of the net employment equation. It is also important that we look at the jobs created because of robot integration. Automation is predicted to create new jobs through the production, maintenance and sale of AI products. While other industries would increase productivity, thus increasing job opportunities. For example, jobs in human resources or customer service for people who understand how to translate workflow processes into robotic process automation (RPA).
Marketing automation expert, HubSpot, wrote about the 10 jobs AI will replace in the future. Works that require little to no human creativity or emotion are most likely to be affected. While, jobs that require human intervention to understand, innovate and create something for other people to comprehend are less likely to be displaced.
This means that for average employees, they must upgrade their skills to include high-level planning and understanding subtle nuances that make production more human at its core.
3. It's not either/or - Human's and AI must collaborate
Humans tend to be on guard when faced with challenging circumstances and to overcome our survival instinct, we must adapt. Artificial intelligence is not taking our jobs but helps improve the way we work while making us more efficient. From data collection to predictive insights, people all over the world will eventually understand why AI is a tool that will help us advance further.
Case Study: Digital Assistants for a Digital Bank
With over 8,500 employees in Malaysia, Hong Leong Bank (HLB) had to build a large Helpdesk Team that needs substantial investment of time and resources by the Human Resource Department (HR) who handle over 23,500 email and phone enquiries.
Aligned with HLB’s “Digital to the Core” mission, they sought a digital platform that could optimize this part of their business and cater to an increasingly digital workforce.
HALI was hired as a Virtual Assistant to deliver both an amazing employee experience and improved HR productivity and to eventually automate enough employee inquiries to close the Helpdesk team so they can work on higher value tasks.
In 2018, HALI assisted almost half of HLB’s workforce, who exchanged over 60,000 messages. This automation helps HLB save about 320 hours of monthly manual support, which leads to the closure of the Helpdesk team, and displacing upskilled employees to a higher value work in other departments.
HALI has also won multiple awards for its innovative use of HR Technology and is being tasked to support additional roles in the Banks HR department. Today, HALI responds to over 100,000 queries every year.
Everise, a global customer experience company also turn into AI chatbots to improve productivity and elevate digital experiences. They employed Ana, the company’s first internally developed chatbot, that provides hiring automation and talent acquisition.
Ana answers the applicant’s inquiries that range from basic information to complex inquiries by directing them to the website or other contact details. She also provides 24/7 access to employment information, which is something that human workforce cannot easily provide.
During the first 30 days, Everise achieved 99% acceptance rates due to Anna.
AI and automation promise an increase in productivity making the employees do more valuable work. A machine stock analyst recently outperformed its human counterpart’s bot in the ability to make more profitable investments and the speed at which it performed investments.
The future of humans is unknown, but AI will surely evolve to the next stage of human potential. After all, recent advances in smarter robotics to do physical work and software to do mental work are following a long line of technological developments that started during the first industrial revolution.