How is AI changing the modern workplace?

Published on May 22, 2023

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AI has been around for a while now and has been used in fraud detection, document processing, anomaly detection, pattern recognition, and more. However, like “data” and “automation”, AI is getting its turn to be “democratised”. Anyone following technology trends and the ocean of ads and YouTube influencer videos would know that every few years a specific technology will be “the next big thing”.

Don’t get us wrong, the technologies make a difference. The rise of tools like Power BI and Tableau have revolutionised the way we think about the speed at which people can get to data, visualise it in some useful manner and make better decisions. Users were liberated from the queue of IT bottlenecks and restrictions, but they also quickly paid the price. Chaos is not freedom and introducing the “new panacea for all your business problems” quickly leads to chaos.

In the Microsoft world, AI builder has been around for a few years now – a very useful, no-code solution to democratise AI. Working with AI builder requires only a bit more technical know-how than working with Excel (basic Excel – no fancy calculations of course). If the tools are that simple and the value is that great, why are most organisations still in awe when you (as the consultant) show them what is capable?

The answer is simple: people outside of the tech industry don’t follow tech changes and organisations on average don’t do a great job at informing their users.

Why do we even need AI in the modern workplace?

An AI approach to the modern workplace is an approach that is focused on enabling its people, not replacing them. AI will empower those who embrace it to achieve even more and to solve problems that they didn’t even know they had.

AI will also cause a greater divide. Those who embrace it can achieve much more than those who don’t – it’s not a perfect science, but the odds are if you know what you’re doing and you get an AI supercharge, you will probably outperform your equals who may not be as AI-savvy.

AI done right will allow organisations to boost their day-to-day operations and leverage their greatest asset – the human mind – to a much greater degree.

How can AI turbo-charge the modern workplace without supplanting people?

The increasing use of AI does pose some challenges to existing workplaces and processes, but it can also be effectively utilised to augment those workplaces and processes without becoming a replacement for workers.

Here are some ways that AI can be used effectively to enhance the modern workplace:

  • Focus on augmentation, not replacement: One of the keys to effective utilisation of AI is to focus on augmentation rather than replacement. Instead of using AI to completely replace human workers, it should be used to augment their abilities and provide new opportunities for growth.
  • Develop human-AI collaboration models: Collaboration between humans and AI can be an effective way to combine the strengths of both. Human workers can provide creativity, emotional intelligence, and critical thinking, while AI can provide data analysis, prediction, and automation.
  • Train and upskill employees: To effectively utilise AI, employees need to be trained and upskilled in new technologies and ways of working. This can help to ensure that they are able to work effectively with AI and use it to augment their own abilities.
  • Ensure ethical and responsible use of AI: As with any new technology, it is important to ensure that AI is used ethically and responsibly. This means developing clear guidelines and protocols for its use, as well as monitoring its impact on workers and processes.
  • Evaluate the impact of AI: Regular evaluation of the impact of AI on workplaces and processes is important to ensure that it is being used effectively and that any negative impacts are identified and addressed.

In summary, effective utilisation of AI in the workplace requires a collaborative approach that focuses on augmentation rather than replacement, training and upskilling employees, ensuring ethical and responsible use, and regular evaluation of its impact.

As organisations strategise and roll out the necessary policy changes, transformation initiatives and more to make this AI-enabled workplace a reality, business leaders must understand that while change can be challenging, successful and sustainable change must be actively driven by leaders, so the entire organisation is brought along with them on the journey. This could call for active change management, cultural shifts, effective workforce engagement, and more – but the end results are worth it. Find out how Experteq can help.

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