FROM THE ROLE OF AUTOMATION IN THE FUTURE OF WORKPLACE
Artificial intelligence will enable automation at the workplace as certain activities that are performed currently by humans requiring human intelligence will be replaced by technologies with either physical or cognitive machine learning abilities. William Gibson, a science-fiction writer once said:
The future is here, it’s just not evenly distributed yet.
When companies look at the developments that are happening today, sooner or later they will use them for their benefit. In their specific business context, they will extrapolate forward eventually. Indeed, a research by McKinsey & Company suggests that as many as 45 percent of the activities individuals are paid to perform can be automated by adapting currently demonstrated technologies.
“Companies clearly see work automation gaining momentum, with little signs of slowing down anytime soon” claimed George Zarkadakis, Willis Towers Watson: a leading global advisory firm from the UK. However, how well companies are prepared to address the changes on organisational requirements related to automation? A recent survey conducted with companies from the UK by Willis focused on automation at the workplace including the developments on artificial intelligence and robotics, suggesting the number of companies that are fully prepared are very few in number.
Survey results suggests that only 7 percent of HR functions state they are fully prepared for the changing requirements of digitization. A third of all respondents have already taken some measures to prepare such as revising their workforce plans to address their talent deficits (31 percent) or defining emerging skill requirements for their business needs (32 percent) as well as changing job designs to better match their talent and work definitions (29 percent) and creating agile careers and flat organisational structures for their employees (27 percent). In the light of the automation and artificial intelligence, it is clear that companies need leaders that radically reinterpret the new work environment to keep their employees constantly engaged.
Is it only Adaptation and Transformation?
Responses illustrate that the situation is more complex than a question of adaptation. For instance, the survey identified a disagreement on whether automating activities will result higher or lower skill requirements for the redesigned jobs. Respondents for higher skill requirements will rise from 27 to 45 percent in the next three years while a solid 42-percent expect lower skill requirements. There is an ongoing debate among technology experts and economists on whether artificial intelligence will create jobs more than it destroys. Dislocation of a significant number of jobs or considerable productivity gains for the businesses that will in turn help creation of new job opportunities, is another complexity to acknowledge.
With the benefits of automated support, much more insightful data analysis, and real-time data synchronization businesses will experience revolutionary developments. The use of artificial intelligence in business processes will allow managers to focus on strategy making and planning. Employees engage in more stimulating and productive activities and companies generate new value.
One Perspective: EcosAgile
EcosAgile is an italian company dealing with how artificial intelligence can revolutionize the Human Resources sector. More generally, how the correct algorithms can improve business performances and work quality of employees. Its CEO – Livio Pomi – explains:
Our goal is to simplify and generate value through the effective use of company data. For that reason we continually invest in research to find intelligent tools that will facilitate the development of HR field, simplify their tasks and free up more value.
Machine learning, artificial intelligence and cognitive learning are the technologies that the team of EcosAgile currently analyzes. They developed the eExpense App that allow users any time to automatically fill expense items and upload the supporting documents in just a few steps. Without going through cumbersome processes, easily manage expense reports with considerable savings in time and resources, reducing the error margin.
With smart scan and receipt check built-in functions, eExpense app utilizes deep learning as it checks the quality, completeness and readability of the receipt applying advanced controls on the company policies. Then it automatically enters the correct expense data for you to review one last time before submitting. This radically innovative app gives us an idea of what a world of opportunities artificial intelligence and automation will bring to the marketplace in the coming years.