Embracing AI and Automation Can Make Your Job Better
By now, many people have heard of the impending “fourth industrial revolution,” and there’s more than a little trepidation surrounding the subject. Just as mechanization and the steam engine changed the landscape of manufacturing, the arrival of interconnected machine learning systems will inevitably transform the way products are made and sold.
The fourth industrial revolution may spark the fear that jobs will disappear. Emerging technologies will have a far-reaching impact, affecting almost every industry and economy on our globalized planet. However, artificial intelligence will serve in large part to augment – not replace – the jobs humans perform in the workplace. The emphasis on AI is to eliminate mindless busywork, making people more efficient, productive, and valuable.
John Carney, senior vice president of industries, communications and media at Salesforce, acknowledges there will be significant changes in the job market but explains that this has been the case throughout history: “If you look back in history with these paradigm shifts, these transitions, the data says that we created way more jobs than were eliminated. So, I think that’s going to happen again. There is going to be a transition.”
Forward-thinking employees should embrace this transition. Instead of being fearful of change, look to the following scenarios to consider how AI can improve your role.
- Marketers can finally give customers the experience they crave.
Unless you’re running a 24/7 call centre, your employees have to go home at some point. Enter AI, and the chatbot, which can give any number of customers the information they’re looking for at any time – even when the customer isn’t sure how to contact you directly.
Naveen Rajdev, chief marketing officer for Wipro Limited, a leading global information technology company, describes AI as the future of digital marketing, allowing business leaders to predict customer needs and respond. He sets the scenario: “It’s the middle of the night, and a customer mentions your brand in a tweet to ask about your store’s holiday hours. All of your employees are home asleep, and the customer assumes he’ll have to wait until morning for an answer. But then, just seconds later, he receives a personalized response answering his question.”
While AI won’t be able to answer every question, it will drastically reduce the burden on your human customer service reps. As a result, you can cut those lengthy hold times and make a big improvement to the overall customer experience.
- Programmers can focus more on the big picture and less on small jobs.
Programming can be tedious work, but AI is liberating programmers and allowing them to focus on the work that they enjoy. Praful Krishna, CEO of Coseer, describes how AI has improved his team’s workflows: “Our team members actually look forward to running modules that involve such tedious programming because now they can play with the AI, train it, monitor its results, and give feedback. It’s almost as if they have a team working for each of them.”
Utilizing AI has been a distinct win, but Krishna points out that there is a “trust curve.” New employees will manually check AI performance, which largely defeats the purpose of having it. Still, they eventually learn to trust it, and he reports that the process pays off in a matter of a few months or even less.
- Salespeople can shorten the sales cycle and bring in more qualified leads.
Sales departments have come a long way from simply making as many cold calls as possible. Today, there are many tools to ensure that valuable time is spent only on the most promising leads. AI has the potential to make this screening process even more precise and to impact the customer experience, improving the rate at which conversions are made.
AI can also take on time-consuming manual tasks that are nonetheless necessary. Jen Tadin of Gallagher, an insurance brokerage, explains how AI frees up time and improves productivity: “AI is used to prefill cumbersome underwriting questions that are required to get a quote. Much of the underwriting information is public domain; therefore, AI is critical in improving ease of doing business for both the prospect and company and assists us in closing more deals in less time.”
Using AI not only improves the experience and increases productivity for Gallagher employees, but it makes things easier and more convenient for customers as well.
- HR can speed up recruitment and training
Especially in large organizations, hiring hundreds or thousands of employees can create a massive backlog for HR. Combing through cover letters and résumés takes a huge amount of time that could be better spent elsewhere. Fortunately, AI can take on some of the burden.
Chatbots are able to perform basic background checks to immediately weed out undesirable candidates, while other AI tools can look for specific qualifications. Argentinian credit firm oMelhorTrato.com uses deep learning to screen applicants, saving HR employees as much as two-thirds of their time and allowing them to focus on higher-level tasks.
Cristian Rennella, the company’s HR director and co-founder, says he’s seen productivity increase by 21.3 percent: “We are sincerely surprised with the results and very happy because boring, manual, and repetitive tasks today can be performed automatically thanks to AI. And we can invest more time to interview the best candidates.”
Looking for more reassurance? Despite the proliferation of AI, the U.S. is continuing to experience record-low unemployment rates. The high-touch jobs that can only be performed by humans aren’t going away; humans still have a corner on emotional intelligence.
Source: All the above opinions are personal perspective on the basis of information provided by Forbes and contributor William Arruda.