AI is changing the face of our workforce

For many of us, the words Artificial Intelligence and New Age of Technology bring an exasperated sigh. Studies have shown that employees, particularly those of Generation Y hold a strong sense of skepticism and intimidation towards automation and new technologies – for fear they would take their place and livelihood.

It seems rather contradicting that in this day and age of rapid digitisation, where we live alongside technology in an almost inseparable way, our biggest fear is technology itself. Organisations now struggle not with finding the “What” that can be used to increase overall productivity but rather, the “How”.  

The “How” as such, is derived from the human aspect of an organisation. No matter the level of technology, the core of every company is its people. In terms of higher-level skills such as creativity, crisis management or innovation for instance, robots can only do as much as its algorithms allow them to. As such, artificial technology does not risk displacing the job market, but rather complements it.

Upgraded Job Creation in the Workforce

With the growing presence of automated works today for mundane tasks like data-entry and even basic cashiering services at friendly neighbourhood supermarkets, needless to say, company efficiency is at an all-time high.  

We might hate to admit this but programmed for repetitive work with a standard clear-cut protocols, artificial intelligence has made our lives much easier and allowed room for more jobs to open up. How so, you may ask?

Although it may seem like AI is replacing low-level skill workers, the human resource required to assemble, program the algorithm of the AI device, to facilitate and maintain it – all these require the additional expertise of human workers. Engineers and technicians will no longer be doing data entry but be required to upgrade their skillsets to maintain and further develop these new AI systems.

As Ramayya Krishnan, Dean of Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University suggests, a job is essentially “a role that consists of a bundle of tasks”. In getting these mundane tasks out of the way, there is now more room for new tasks and undiscovered work scopes.

Increased Accuracy in Foundational Level

Apart from that, mundane tasks such as sieving through job applications to find suitable skilled candidates for an interview can be sharpened and shortened with the reduction of human error.

Particularly for small-medium enterprises where time and cost efficiency is the direct determinant of its survival and success, there is little room for human error. Due to the limited human resource, there is also a need for every employee to be a jack of all trades and simultaneously a master of all.

Human Skills Are More Imperative Than Ever

Particularly with the growing presence of automated works, human skills have become all the more imperative for organizational functions today.

At the heart of every flourishing organization is a diverse and cohesive team of individuals, with the usual identifiers like synergy, collaboration and teamwork. Especially with assured productivity on the foundational level with the help of AI, the bigger job tasks involving human interaction and judgement can never be replicated by humans – at least not for now.

Shift in Mindset

As these technological shifts and advancements grow in precedence, the mindsets of both employers and employees must also seek to evolve alongside the ever-changing tides of the industry.

To hone greater talents, organizations should be more receptive to the idea of retraining and promoting lifelong learning for their workers to increase their bandwidth in dealing with a wider scope of challenges and tasks.

The future of artificial intelligence involves streamlining job processes and is still largely at its initial stages of infancy. Based on observations of market trends recruitment patterns, it would likely take us around 5 years before any truly effective artificial intelligence tools can be generated and mass produced for organizational use – we still have time.