How can A.I. Development Influence the World of Work?

A.I. Development in world of work

A.I. is on everyone’s mind at the moment. The boost artificial intelligence development has seen in the last few years makes it more and more interesting to companies. It promises to give business advantages through insights that human cannot offer and to ease and improve workflows.

A.I explained

Classical A.I. uses logical reasoning. Like a syllogism, it starts from some premises to reach a conclusion. Similar to the famous one by Aristotle. All men are mortal. Socrates is a man. So, Socrates is mortal. It is the closest form of artificial intelligent to conscious thinking. Unfortunately, it has not made great strides towards general artificial intelligence, which is how humans function in and interact with the world. Machine learning is another type of A.I. which uses algorithms to learn from data to do different tasks. This kind has been likened to the way our subconscious works because it arrives at insights in ways that cannot be checked, in a black-box model. This makes it hard for specialists in A.I. development to analyze and understand why the algorithm does what it does. And it is a reason for concern in some situations.

A.I. and work

More and more companies, especially leading players in their industry invest in A.I. and learn to redesign parts of their workflows to better suit working with artificial intelligence systems. A Mckinsey report shows that this new technology will probably create up to around 5 trillion dollars in annual value. It also predicts that it has the potential to increase prosperity worldwide. The world of work will surely change, with less demand for physical and manual skills, but an increased need for social and emotional skills as well as technological ones. It might mean that education will evolve, organizations will have to redesign work and rethink income. People will have to learn to work alongside robots and A.I.

An article in Raconteur talks about the success companies like Cisco, Publicis, Goldman Sacks and Deutsche Bahn have had implementing A.I. inside their organizations, for the benefit of their employees and customers.

In general, A.I. use has increased by 270% in the last 4 years and 62% of customers are open to using A.I. for better experiences with businesses.

So, there is good news and hopeful data at the moment for a future enhanced by A.I., with changes we cannot even imagine now, the way people before the industrial revolution could not have imagined the transformations the world was going to go through.

A.I. development uses

Harvard Business Review has surveyed 250 executives and three quarters of them feel that A.I. will be essential to the development of their companies.

Some of the things it can do are to automate business processes, provide insight through data analysis and engage with customers and employees.

Every organization needs to decide what it wants to improve, is it flexibility, speed, or scale; or is it decision-making and personalization.

A.I categories

There are three big categories of A.I. use. The first one, robotic process automation, is good at inputing data and consumming information from multiple systems. It can also handle customer communications and extract information from legal documents using natural language processing. It does not learn and improve, but it is one of the least expensive and easiest to implement and it brings fairly quick results and high return on investment if applied correctly.

Another category, cognitive insight, uses algorithms to find patterns in huge amounts of data. It can predict customer choices, detect identity credit fraud and insurance claim fraud. Factories have used it to monitor and predict quality problems in automobiles and other products. They can recognize data about the same person in different formats and in multiple databases. This makes them extremely helpful at reducing redundancies and making any system faster. Audits benefit from the use of A.I. as it can review documents faster than humans, and in this way almost 100% percent of documents can be checked without human effort, people are there to draw conclusions and take decisions, which is what they do best.

The third type uses natural language processing to interface with the user and is the A.I. development behind chatbots and intelligent agents. It can offer customer service 24/7 and handle most routine request while passing more complex ones to human employees, thus reducing workload and servicing a higher number of customers. An internal bot for when employees need information or deployed to work directly with customers  has proven useful. It offers faster and better customer experience for retail and can be used to create customized plans in healthcare.

Humans and A.I.

There is intense fear and dire predictions that widespread use of A.I. will leave millions of people jobless. But the fear is unfounded considering how much better A.I. is in conjunction with human work. All around advice is never to invest in this technology to replace people, but rather to augment human work.

A report from Capgemini Research Institute details how Europe is leading the way in using A.I. in manufacturing. Of course, Germany is at the top with 69% of manufacturers using the technology. There are three use cases where it has proven very successful and has scaled well: intelligent maintenance, product quality control and demand planning. In all situations the work is something humans would take a long time to do and with high chances of mistakes. This way humans get to oversee the process, do maintenance when necessary and take decisions when warranted, all things machines cannot do well.

Even more, humans are needed to develop A.I. and manage it. There are three major ways in which humans contribute. First of all, they need to train A.I., which is still a labour-intensive activity, then they need to become translators of A.I. for people not in tech. This way they bridge the work of the development team with the business side of the organization. Then humans also need to make sure A.I. is used resposibly.


Due to new advancements, the ability of this type of A.I. to process data is growing and this means the ability to do more tasks and to do them more accurately.

So even if some jobs might disappear, there are a huge number of jobs that will be created for humans to work alongside machines. We need to remember that humans do certain things best while machines do others. So, new roles will appear and new ways in which people can fit into the workplace doing fewer repetitive tasks and being more focused on creative activities. If we can’t imagine them now, or the configuration of a world that uses A.I. heavily to enhance its own capabilities, it just means we need to have faith and start working on creating a world where both human and machine have a place.



Harvard Business Review – On A.I. analytics and The Machine Age, 2021

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