AI will change the workplace. Here’s how.

A quick look at some use cases for AI in the workplace

Once the poster child of science fiction, artificial intelligence (AI) is no longer so. In the reality of now, AI has made inroads into the tools and services we use everyday.

Machine learning is what makes Google Assistant and Alexa do what they do. Google’s photo search uses deep learning frameworks to better identify our pictures. Prisma, the ‘take any pic and make it art-sy’ app that shot into the limelight in 2016, was, you guessed it, powered by neural networks i.e., AI.

Can AI get anymore mainstream than that?

The answer is yes. Some consumers are already conversing, searching, and shopping with chat bots, and this is going to be an increasingly frequent occurrence. As chat bots grow in capability, and as machines start understanding the language of our choice (or at least English), we will have many more conversations with virtual assistants and technical support bots.

In 2011, Gartner predicted the growth of chatbots and automation in CX:

By 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationship with the enterprise without interacting with a human.

Today, as we inch closer to the start of a new decade, the reality of artificial intelligence taking over some jobs previously handled by humans is hitting us. There is an increasing number of discussions about the future of work, the future of humanity, and the economics of the future. Surprisingly, the technology that will result in loss of jobs is also creating a new class of jobs!

According to the Gartner Predicts 2017 report, script writers and conversation programmers for bots will be a new, growing job category, and there will be quite a few of those jobs available.

By 2019, more than 10% of IT hires in customer service will mostly write scripts for bot interactions.
By 2020, 20% of companies will dedicate workers to monitor and guide neural networks.

AI is ushering in a new era in the workplace, an era where the complexity of one’s work is paramount. Easier jobs? The machines can handle them. Human potential will be used to tackle a higher order of problems — ones that require complex levels of human thought, such as creative challenges and decision-making.

So, how will artificial intelligence change the workplace? We list a few of many use cases:

Chat bots for everything

Human-like interactions with Chat Bots | Image Credit: Pinterest

Chat bots are already seeing use in enhancing employee services, on-boarding new employees, and employee counselling. Expect a sharp spike in the usage of bots in the enterprise, for all kinds of conversations. It won’t be a surprise if, in the future, our initial job screening interviews are handled by bots too!

“So, tell me about yourself.”

Personal assistants for everyone

Apple’s Voice Assistant Siri | Image Credit: I4U

We are now used to carrying personal digital assistants aka our smartphones, talking to them and ordering them to get things done. The logical next step? Take them to the workplace and use them as personal assistants. Everyone will have one. AI-based assistants will schedule meetings for us, place calls, and maybe, answer our voicemails too!

“Hey Siri, call Jonathan!”

Never miss a thing in a meeting

AI to the rescue! | Image Credit: Clofus

Ever been in a meeting that lasted longer than an hour, where you forgot to take notes, and couldn’t remember much of it afterwards? AI has applications beyond the here and now. Software could record meetings, transcribe discussions using AI and natural language processing (NLP), and archive it all for easy access. All you have to do is play the recording with transcripts, and you can relive the meeting. Or just fast forward it to the good bits so you can catch up quicker.

At 43:34 in the video, Susan says, “We need infographics!”

Everyone is a decent writer, kind of

A writer in action | Image Credit: Pixabay

This might sound funny, but it’s not true. Consider the number of undecipherable work emails you receive, or presentations that can only be understood by the presenter, or even strategy meetings where someone just goes on and on with atrocious grammar. Point proved.

Artificial intelligence is already helping some people write better emails, and some others write better job descriptions. Next step? It should help us all write better.

Humans shall write better, assisted by AI. 🍻

In essence, once we understand a business and the processes involved in running it, technology will help us strip away everything inefficient in the processes, and make it all happen faster, more efficiently, and, dare we say, more effectively.

While behemoths like Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Facebook have all invested in artificial intelligence, it’s startups that are leading the way in showing us how AI can change the world.

There are startups trying to solve challenges in natural language processing, image recognition, and speech synthesis. There are startups using AI to detect, predict, and deter security breaches. There are even startups teaching AI how to code, so code can code itself. Really.

As AI matures in capability and availability, a movement that is already underway, it has the potential to change the way we live and work. We are poised for a year of growth and innovation in AI and how it can be applied to human lives in ways that uplift it.

Stay tuned to hear more about how technology, in different forms and monikers, is transforming our lives — in our homes and at work.

Authored by Kesava Mandiga, who is excited by, and a little scared of, how fast artificial intelligence is, well, becoming intelligent. Also, a content marketer at Flock.