We’re used to the idea that increasingly sophisticated machines are taking jobs from people in the manufacturing industry, but white collar jobs have usually been safe from this kind of automation. However, with the growing intelligence and availability of software designed to automate clerical tasks and other traditional office work, it looks like artificially intelligent apps could soon replace a large percentage of office workers.
In fact, it is possible that as many as 35% of current UK jobs could be automated in the near future. While this might sound scary, especially if yours is one of the jobs that a piece of software could be doing within the next few years, the picture is not all doom and gloom. While AI will likely transform our workplaces, it also offers some great opportunities to improve the way we work. So just what does an AI-assisted future look like?
How AI will affect your business
Although AI replacing workers may be bad news for some employees, it could represent a golden opportunity for many businesses. AI has the potential to be faster, cheaper and, crucially, better than people currently doing the kind of jobs that could soon be automated.
Using machine learning and other techniques, intelligent software has the capacity to analyse thousands of times more data per day than a human ever could, pulling out all sorts of useful insights. AI will be able to make highly accurate predictions, allowing you to take advantage of opportunities you otherwise would have missed. By removing the possibility of human error, it can also make your business less susceptible to potentially costly mistakes.
The fact that AI is likely to significantly reduce companies’ overheads and make them more efficient should not be overlooked, but ultimately it is the fact that they will be able to do a superior job which is likely to be the key factor in their uptake. However committed company owners are to their staff, those who get on the AI bandwagon are likely to start significantly outperforming those who don’t, making this change more or less inevitable across a whole range of industries.
Could AI make better managers?
One area people might expect humans to remain essential is management, however, not everyone agrees. In a recent survey, around a quarter of people said they would prefer to be managed my machines. This rose to nearly a third for younger people aged 20-39.
The suggested reason is that many people prefer the idea of decisions about hiring and workplace management being handled by unbiased software, rather than by fallible humans. Younger people in particular seem to have faith in the decision making ability of software over humans.
As prominent artificially intelligent technology, such as Tesla’s self-driving cars, begin to prove themselves better than people, the acceptance of and trust in AI among the general population is bound to grow. As this trend continues, people are likely to want to allow AI a bigger part in the decisions that govern their everyday life, which means artificially intelligent managers are likely to be something both workers and companies owners demand.
How to prepare your business for the rise of the AI
Initially artificially intelligent software is likely to work alongside your existing team members, providing insights and suggestions while humans retains the power to decide which of these ideas to implement.
This will be essential until the algorithms used by these apps get smart enough to be left to go it alone. This is a lesson Facebook recently learned when it fired the editorial team overseeing its Trending Topics algorithm, letting the software run unsupervised with some unfortunate consequences.
For businesses, this means instead of making mass redundancies, you will need to focus on retraining your teams and making the right new hires, so you have people with the skills to manage smart software. Overtime, as the software gets clever enough to begin working more independently, you can re-skill those team members who are no longer needed in their current roles or allow your teams to shrink through natural wastage, meaning you can minimise the need for redundancies.
Find the right employees to navigate AI in the workplace
Next Ventures is one of the world’s top technology recruitment firms. We find the very best candidates to help tech companies adapt and thrive in the ever changing world of the technology industry.
We have recruitment professionals specialising in finding people to work with all kinds of tech, including AI in the workplace. The superior quality of our team is driven in large part by our innovative graduate academy, “The Next Step”, which trains our new team members to the very highest standards.
So, if you are a tech company looking for the right people to keep your business moving forward or a recent graduate keen to get started in tech recruitment, contact Next Ventures today.