How AI is reshaping the face of employment
It’s late Thursday afternoon in the office. Nearly everyone is staring at their screen, some clicking a mouse, others typing in words for other purposes. A few of us are having calls in glass cubicles, others are working at home and sharing their screens. Not so long ago, this environment was completely unimaginable. Since then, technological advances have increasingly been disrupting the status quo. As we connect more and more of these emerging technologies, the way we work today will quickly stand in the shadow of future realities. But rather than discomfort from disruption, I believe we should rest assured that with every passing day, we are more technologically equipped to tackle the challenges our businesses face.
But how will it all happen, what is driving and hampering this evolution in the workplace?
“Just picture it; everyone in the office talking to their devices. It will be total chaos”, a colleague mocks. “Finally not writing minutes of meetings, small emails and meeting requests”, another cheers.
It is easy to get carried away by some of the possibilities of artificially intelligent assistants; in some scenarios, physically interacting with a computer would even become obsolete. This would free up substantial amounts of time and energy. It would allow us to focus on people, the aspect most leaders believe is the single most important aspect of all of our business.
Of course there are many more steps necessary to reach this future, but the crucial element is that many of the required technologies already exist. Most innovative startups are not spawned from recent technological breakthroughs, but rather by integrating different technologies in traditional businesses and hereby changing the rules of the game. The point is not to find a workaround for the problem, but to make the problem obsolete.
Today, we are starting to lay a conversational foundation to allow our future businesses to proceed in a technologically-enabled human-focused workplace. Where the self-service was a well-engineered piece of information centralization, we have moved towards a system of information overload. The mountains of emails after a vacation and various information portals being examples. In these cases, we could leverage artificial intelligence to help us filter-in what is truly relevant. Increasingly, chatbots are already able to directly book your holidays for you if you ask them politely.
Soon, remembering a password may become a thing of the past. Perhaps one day, the tone of your voice may cause your assistant to warn you for illness or react more empathically to us. Despite the future character of these sentences, we can help you create the foundations for this future workplace now. Reach out if you are eager to take a firm step towards a future-proof HR.
About the author
Niels is manager in EY’s HR Advisory practice and an entrepreneur at heart. In EY, he adds specific expertise on people technologies and trends in HR. Laborate, a startup in which he is active, is taking steps today to digitalize and innovate the recruitment process.