Four Ways Artificial Intelligence Can Impact the Workplace and Society

By: Christina Aguis

Will artificial intelligence (AI) and bots replace your job? That’s the million dollar question that everyone is worrying about. Whether you’re in human resources or a financial advisor, talk of adoption of artificial intelligence and bots can make you ask the question.

Robotics and machine learning has enhanced the workplace and economies of many developed countries by improving productivity. Adoption of AI and machine learning are common in start-ups and are being adopted slowly by enterprises. Regardless of your job title, it’s almost inevitable that AI will creep into your workplace.

Although AI has the potential to make peoples lives easier, there is a widespread fear that robotics and AI are going to take away people’s jobs.

Here are four ways that artificial intelligence can impact the workplace and society:

1. It can take the load off

AI is being used in a variety of ways to replace human labor and routine tasks that are too time consuming and tedious for employees. According to a survey conducted by ABBYY, two-thirds of employees said that they would gladly hand over tasks, such as taking notes or reading lengthy documents.

Helping human resources departments to find ideal candidates through the data base to fill a job quickly and efficiently and help IT departments by eliminating processes that the employees would have to do manually are just a couple of ways that AI will take the load off of an employees shoulders.

2. How it can affect society

It’s been said that bots will most likely not replace jobs but just aid current employees but according to Georgios Petropoulos’ study on “The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Employment” that’s not the case.

He states that the demand for “middling jobs,” such as clerks, machine operators and assemblers, are declining because of machine learning. However, high-education jobs and low-education service occupations will continue to grow. This is because they are non-standard jobs and can be difficult to replace by automation.

AI can take away human contact altogether and is already in the process of doing so. Natural-language technology, such as Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa can answer task-based requests. Many mobile apps and features are also designed to help you instantly, needing no human communication.

3. Opportunities to work together 

According to Gartner, 30 percent of data centers that fail to apply artificial intelligence and machine learning effectively in support of enterprise business will cease to be operational and economically viable. For those who don’t have AI in place in their business… it’s right around the corner if you want to stay in the game.

Scott Clark, CEO of SigOpt, thinks that machine learning and humans have the opportunity to work together.

In an interview with Clark stated “most machine learning work is done to improve organizations and practices and what happens behind the scenes.” Doing so would automate and optimize tasks.

“Humans ask the right questions, while machine learning is good at ingesting massive amounts of information…Together they can have a massive business impact,” stated Clark. “But you need to make sure you’re asking the right questions first and not letting the cart lead the horse.”

4. Adaptation

When it comes to bots taking over human jobs… Clark seems to think that fear is misplaced. In August alone employers were seeking 151,717 more data scientists and Clark thinks that IT professionals have an opportunity to adapt their skillset to fill the order.

Developing new skills to aid where the business and AI are headed can only help an employee stay put and become more valuable.

AI can take away stress of manual and tedious work for employees by making things automatic, but it can also take a turn and confirm people’s fears of losing their job. The future of AI isn’t exactly clear but it will definitely have an impact on the workplace and society – whether that’s positive or negative we will have to wait and see. But when it comes to the question of if or when artificial intelligence will take over human jobs – it depends on who you ask. 

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