by Prince Kapoor
When it comes to Artificial Intelligence, or AI for short, most of us first became aware of the term back in the 70s and 80s through sci-fi movies, promising us the dream of automated robots, ‘thinking’ independently, and bowing to our every whim. Slowly, as the technology evolved from its infancy, we started to see aspects of AI infiltrate the entertainment industry, mainly in the form of video game enemies or opponents, providing us with sterner tests as the games became evermore advanced through the decades. This is where most of us would have first become aware of the term, with little to no exposure to it in any other areas of our life.
That is, until recently. AI is now a hot topic amongst the tech giants of the age, with Google, Facebook, and Apple all pushing artificial intelligence to the forefront of their respective businesses in a multitude of different ways. But AI is not only going to help the tech giants know in advance who you are likely to vote for, or what your next purchase might be, in fact, AI is about to enter the workplace in a big way, and in some areas, it already has.
AI is here to aid the worker, not replace them.
One such area is in HR (Human Resources), where those who work in the department often find their time bogged-down with mundane, repetitive queries that can distract from some of the more important, difficult tasks that need to be addressed. To ease the strain on the HR department, apps such as Spoke can take the helm when it comes to pointing staff in the right direction for applying for annual leave, getting a family member added to their insurance policy, or reporting any small inter-office issues. Available to employees through Slack, email, and even SMS, apps like Spoke point those who need answers in the right directions, taking the workload off an increasingly busy department.
Helping to smooth the movement of data.
Those of us who commute to work in a busy city will know only too well the problems of congestion. For the workers of the future, congestion on the roads will not be the only place they experience problems of overcrowding, as the internet is fast becoming a place where the sheer volume of data being moved around is causing problems. More devices result in more data, and in a world that shows no signs of relenting from its data addictions, a new strategy is needed to deal with the deluge of information currently flying through our data pipes. This is another area AI is looking to infiltrate, and improve. Whereas most data currently travels the shortest distance between destinations, AI will help route internet traffic through less congested routes, eventually speeding up the efficiency of the entire internet. This won’t be happening overnight, but slowly and surely internet traffic is being routed more intelligently that it has been over the last few decades.
Helping us to work smarter.
Job training is another area where AI will help improve the workplace, but perhaps not in the way many people are thinking. When AI is discussed in the same vein as jobs, many will anticipate the removal of the human workforce, replacing it with intelligent robots that work longer hours and demand no wages. While this will be true for some jobs, others are actually looking to use AI in a way that aids the human workforce, rather than replacing it. Take, for example, the customer service industries. The short-term future of customer service will be a hybrid of humans and AI working together, where the human interacts with a customer whilst an AI application listens in on the call and advises the customer service rep if they are talking too fast, or have forgotten to mention something that would be helpful for the customer to know. This sort of symbiotic relationship between AI and workers will be seen everywhere in the workplace of the future, with technology aiding workers, rather than simply replacing them.
With the power of AI increasing at an amazing rate, expect to see more and more areas of our workplaces being aided by these technological advancements. Whether it is reminding a customer service rep to slow down their speech, routing internet traffic through less busy exchanges, or collating vast amounts of data into a useable form, AI is about to become part of the furniture in workplaces across the globe. As it does, the fear associated with the technological revolution should fade, while the potential benefits that AI can deliver will start to drive the current workplace to become the workplace of the future.
Prince Kapoor is a seasoned marketing analyst and blogger. With his skills, he has been helping fellow marketers and brands worldwide.