Getting to grips with AI

Even as technology streamlines many workplace processes, businesses will need to prepare themselves for the challenges they bring.

Talking to a chatbot, working with an intelligent assistant and augmenting your role with various other artificial intelligence (AI) systems will become standard components of your job as the implementation of automation continues to ramp up, says a new report from recruiting firm Hays.

“Many of us think nothing of speaking into a device and asking it to add an item to a shopping list or play a song we cannot remember the title of,” says Lynne Roeder, Managing Director of Hays Singapore.

“We understand that when companies use Facebook Messenger or Twitter to communicate with us, we’re not always ‘talking’ to a human being, sometimes it’s a chatbot. And now AI is set to make a big impact in the world of work.”

AI is already growing in use across some sectors: 38% of more than 10,000 respondents (from 140 countries) in the 2017 Deloitte Human Capital Trends survey said they are already using AI in their workplace and 62 per cent expect to do so by 2018.

A third of employees surveyed said they think their jobs will be augmented by AI in the future.

The challenge for employees, says Roeder, is that many will need to upskill in digital literacy, while for organisations the cost of implementing such systems is high.

Here are some of the ways that AI will alter our current ways of working:

  1. Automation of repetitive tasks: Repetitive task based work can soon be expected to become automated, freeing up valuable time and allowing workers to concentrate on other areas of their role.
     
  2. Automated self-service: Machine learning chatbots that recognise speech and text-based conversation will be used to respond to queries from workers.
     
  3. Intelligent assistants: Intelligent assistants could help to process large amounts of data to provide businesses with information allowing workers to make better informed decisions.
     
  4. Learning & development: Algorithms could identify an employee’s area of learning and where their skills could be strengthened.
     
  5. Identify passive jobseekers: Machine learning also has the potential to detect passive candidates by means of their online behaviour.

“Chatbots and the use of AI for internal communication is definitely on the rise and, apart from the automation of repetitive tasks, this is where we expect people to see the greatest initial impact of AI systems in their daily jobs,” said Roeder.

“HR and payroll are obvious areas where we can expect this technology to be implemented initially," she added.

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