19 Oct Let Machines Lend You a Mechanical Helping Hand
Do you fear a world where your human skills and prowess will be rendered obsolete by the arrival of almighty artificially intelligent beings? You’re not alone.
But are you slightly irrational? Maybe so.
First of all, to dissuade your worries, the research firm Gartner reports that artificial intelligence is currently creating more jobs than it destroys and that we should see a net increase of two million jobs by 2025. Second, AI development is still in its infant stages. How many times have you asked Siri or Bixby a question, and received a response that was completely unrelated to what you actually inquired after?
At this current stage, peak results are obtained when humans and AI work together. Melonee Wise, CEO, and founder of Fetch Robotics states that “the point of technology is to boost productivity, not cut the workforce”. In addition, there must be people to maintain, service, take care of, and even train the machines. Yes, train. Behind Microsoft’s AI assistant, Cortana, or Apple’s Siri, or Amazon’s Alexa, are human trainers, who painstakingly trained these assistants to develop the right personalities for their functions, as well as to best reflect the brand in their personalities. And despite their knowledge and sophistication, these AIs are assistants. Cortana is used in offices for transcribing meetings for those who couldn’t attend. Why?
Findings by McKinsey on what type of work is more available for automation show that AI works the best for jobs that are highly technical, as well as routine (and tedious). Those that are the hardest to automate are jobs that involve a context-based understanding of people, and coming up with creative solutions to problems with a high level of unpredictability, which is why AI is mostly relegated to the role of support and as assistants, rather than becoming your new bosses.
AI will be the future of work, but before it becomes widespread, there are steps that leaders should take to best prepare their companies for this upcoming future. They need to create a culture that will allow for the smooth implementation of these technologies and a smooth transition into an AI prevalent culture, by, for example, acclimating the employees to bite-sized forms of AI such as using artificial assistants in meetings, as well as instilling a culture of accepting new technology without viewing it as ‘the enemy’ by setting an example, as a leader who embraces new technology. By working together and combining the strengths of each side: the leadership, teamwork, and creativity of humans, and the speed and quantitative abilities of AI.