Smart technologies are expected to be a growing feature of scale-up businesses – but they come with their own challenges, as Fast Future describe.
How businesses respond to technological change and how they exploit the benefits of smart technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), will be a key contributor to their success going forward.
Thanks to AI, roles that have been traditionally thought of as requiring a high level human intellect are now being automated. Whilst this undoubtedly boosts efficiency, decision makers must be mindful of how this may impact brand identity and user experience.
This is why it’s essential to focus on the human dimension. Which areas will still require human involvement? How will staff respond when their jobs are changed or eliminated? What new skills might employees need? What responsibilities do employers have for those displaced by technology?
To help meet the challenges, business leaders need to consider five key questions as they embark on the AI journey:
The gifts from AI to society include smarter decision making, the capacity to draw new insights from vast arrays of data, the potential for cost-saving replacement of humans, and efficiency-oriented high-volume applications which are simply beyond human capacity to execute in a meaningful timeframe. However, ignoring the impact on employees would be bad internal PR and could have devastating consequences for customer appeal and reputation. Furthermore, private industry will almost certainly be expected to contribute to the cost of widespread unemployment.
Ultimately the future of work and the future of society are deeply entwined. Our sense of place in society, our worth, our contribution and our legacy are often predicated around our work. Anything that starts to disrupt that relationship between work and individual identity is going to have far-reaching impacts. On the plus side, humans have proved themselves to be remarkably adaptable to technology.
The AI companions that will join us in the workforce will be preoccupied with learning about us to try to make our lives better. Just as the predictive text on your phone doesn’t send runaway messages (usually) and the internet search bar sometimes knows you better than you know yourself, we as a society should anticipate AI’s helpful (if sometimes at first clunky) role in the workplace over the coming decade.
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