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The Future of Artificial Intelligence in the Workplace

February 12 2020
Author: Blogauthor

"AI is a tool. The choice about how it gets deployed is ours". - Oren Etzioni

AI has become a mainstream technology because of its ability to harness large volumes of data in real-time. And, with data growing at an exponential rate, [worldwide data is expected to increase to 175 zettabytes by 2025! (Source: IDC)], AI will become a dominant technology in the future.

As AI makes a foray into the workplace automating several tasks and replacing humans, it causes concern if AI will replace humans completely. Are we heading into a future where machines will be performing all tasks leaving humans jobless?

Here is a view of what some of the experts in the field of AI think:

"I think the world will just be better if AI is helping us. It will reduce the cost of goods, giving us a good education, changing the way we run hospitals and healthcare systems-there is a long list of things."- Andrew Ng

"I definitely fall into the camp of thinking of AI as augmenting human capability and capacity". -Satya Nadella

These words surely indicate that we can have a positive future with AI if AI is leveraged "intelligently."

Developing innovative technologies based on AI will create job opportunities to implement those technologies. The demand for skill sets that can implement these technologies will definitely increase.

How AI will impact businesses?

AI will replace repetitive tasks or basic problem-solving tasks. Besides AI will also have a role to play in decision-making in an industrial setup, financial institutions, and customer service activities. These decisions will be based on data in real-time and hence will be more accurate. Besides, they will be free of human bias. This will help enhance the revenues of the organization.

How can we take advantage of AI?

1. Reduce Operational Expenses

AI reduces the operational costs of your business by automating routine tasks. These tasks could as basic as organizing your calendar to more critical tasks such as collecting and processing complex data. It also reduces the cost of labor.

2. Minimizes time taken

AI not only reduces the costs of performing routine tasks but also reduces the time taken for completing tasks by automating them.

3. Reduces Revisions to Workflow

Technologies that are based on AI are precise and free of human bias and errors leading to accurate outcomes. This reduces the revisions to the workflow.

4. Businesses can Offer Better Customer Experience

AI can predict customer needs based on data. This input empowers businesses to offer a better experience to their customers.

5. Better Decision Making

The machine learning algorithms of AI help in the analysis so that you can make data-based decisions that are more accurate.

Since AI can be leveraged for so many benefits, organizations need to overcome any bias they may have against AI and get ready to implement it to gain from it. There is a need to train and upskill the current workforce so that they can implement AI-based technologies.

How AI is impacting different areas in the workplace:

AI in the Hiring Process

It is a well-known fact that one of the most tedious tasks in HR is hiring or recruitment. AI helps transform the recruitment process by offering smarter solutions in talent sourcing and applicant screening.

AI helps streamline the hiring process by automating activities such as the scheduling of interviews with clients and shortlisting them, etc. Besides, it offers tools that enhance the success rate in hiring quality hires by finding passive applicants who can expand your current pool of clients.

Some of the AI tools in Hiring are:

Textio: It collates the data from previous job postings of the organization with similar postings by other companies. Based on this data, it empowers the recruiters to phrase the job description in such a manner it attracts the attention of job seekers.

Montage: It is an AI tool that enables candidates to schedule and reschedule their interviews as required. This frees the time of the recruiters to focus on core activities.

Stella and Koru: They simplify the hiring process by matching the candidates with the jobs. With the help of these tools, the employees and employers can check the credentials, experience, and qualities required for the job.

Palatine Analytics: It enables the selection of the right candidates for promotion by helping managers evaluate the performance of the employees.

According to the Ideal, 96% of recruiters feel that AI can enhance talent acquisition and retention. And, about 33% of recruiters believe that they can focus on “More Human Tasks” augmented by AI.

 

AI eliminates Repetitive Administrative Tasks

A lot of time is wasted in performing routine tasks in administrative tasks such as scheduling meetings, etc. AI can help streamline this process. Besides AI can perform routine tasks such as approving loans, taking decisions if a customer should be onboarded or for identifying fraud, and many more.

If we take the case of automating a meeting in an organization, various tools can be used:

X.ai provides employees AI personal assistants that perform tasks such as scheduling/rescheduling or canceling meetings.

AI also automates recording, transcribing, and distributing notes, thereby saving the time of the managers who can focus on other aspects of the business.

AI Sense is a tool that is available as a feature of Zoom. It transcribes the content of the meeting and makes it available to all stakeholders in an easy to search form.

 

AI automates Internal Communication and Support Functions

Support functions in an organization have several activities to perform. For instance, the HR department needs to focus on making the company environment such that the employees are happy to work there. The IT department is responsible to ensure that the IT systems and processes work in a seamless manner besides ensuring the security of data.

Although these tasks are vital for an organization, the support staff may find it difficult to focus on these areas since much of their time is spent on routine tasks.

Spoke, which is an AI Service desk can empower the support staff to balance their service commitments with other responsibilities by managing the routine tasks for them.

The employees can seek the assistance of Spoke whenever required via Slack, email, SMS, etc. and Spoke will respond to their queries. In case Spoke is unable to answer the query, it will direct it to the team in the organization that can offer a solution.

AI also helps in enhancing communications within the organization. AI-powered Skype Translator translates communication in different languages so that the different parties can easily comprehend what is being spoken in real-time.

 

AI in Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service

Stats reveal that Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service functions are expected to make huge strides by implementing AI.

As per Forbes, marketing and sales prioritize AI and Machine Learning higher than any other department in enterprises today (40%).

AI use cases that are expected to see most investments are automated customer service agents ($4.5 Billion worldwide), sales process recommendation and automation ($2.7 Billion) (Source: IDC)

It is also expected that AI embedded in Analytics and other marketing software will free up over 1/3 of data analysts in marketing organizations. (Source: Gartner) This will free up the time of the analysts and they can focus on business priorities instead of routine processes.

One of the chief factors that will impact marketing, sales, and customer service functions is AI-powered chatbots that help with external support as well. With the help of intelligent tools, these chatbots learn from real marketers, sales professionals, or customer service reps and can answer queries accurately just like a knowledgeable human.

 

AI in Process Automation

Process Automation at its core has innovative technologies that blend process redesign with Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Machine Learning.

RPA helps in business improvement besides offering tools that automate replicable, repetitive, and routine tasks. This also helps enhance customer journeys by simplifying interactions and speeding processes. This has a direct impact on efficiency and productivity with the potential to increase productivity by 50%.

The Bottomline

In the words of Andrew Ng - “If we can make computers more intelligent- and I want to be careful of AI hype- and understand the world and environment better, it can make life so much better for many of us. Just as the industrial revolution freed up a lot of humanity from physical drudgery I think AI has the potential to free up humanity from a lot of mental drudgery.”