How AI Will Change Your Workplace

Source: Deep Learning on Medium

How AI Will Change Your Workplace

In the next five to ten years, your workplace will look fundamentally different. Thanks to technologies such as artificial intelligence, the internet of things and robotics work as we know it will drastically change. The future of work will come with great opportunities but also with plenty of challenges for organizations. It will require employees and management to adapt and work smarter. AI will augment your jobs, the Internet of Things will provide you with details insights and robotics will replace many jobs.

In the coming decade, your workplace will be datafied and digitalized. Digitalization refers to the conversion of information into digital format, for example converting music into MP3 files, photos into JPEG, text to HTML and analog video to YouTube videos. Doing so will increase your available data exponentially. Digitalization, therefore, means capturing human ideas in digital form for transmission, manipulation, re-use and analyzing.

As such, without data, there is no future of work. As I shared earlier, there are three concepts that define the future of work: data, decentralization, and automation[1]. Together, these technologies will fundamentally change your workplace.

So, let’s see how emerging technologies will affect the workplace of the future:

1. Finding, Hiring and Retaining Talent

AI is the perfect technology to improve your hiring process. You can use the technology to quickly find the needle in the haystack by analyzing millions of social profiles, thousands of resumes and quickly detect a list of potential candidates. AI can then automatically interact with these candidates in an engaging manner to build a healthy pipeline of the best candidates. The company Arya[2] is one of the companies that offer organizations intelligence-driven talent acquisition.

Once you have identified a pipeline of candidates, or have a large group of candidates that respond to a job application, you can use AI to assist in selecting the right candidate for your company. There are dozens of AI-powered tools[3] available that assist recruiters in hiring (remote) workers. You can use AI in assessing a candidate’s skills, personality and even the organizational fit. For example, the company Filtered[], offers assessments for data scientists and engineers. Each assessment is analyzed using AI. Facial recognition helps detect cheating and results are filtered before hitting your inbox, saving the recruiter valuable time when hiring the best engineer.

Facial recognition is one of those technologies that recruiters increasingly use to assess candidates. Companies including Vodafone, Singapore Airlines and Unilever save millions of dollars per year by replacing human recruiters with AI. Thanks to technology developed by HireVue, these companies can screen many more candidates in less time, resulting in finding better candidates for the job.

2. Intelligent Remote Working

AI can be used to improve hiring remote workers, but it can also be used to improve remote working itself. Remote AI will help remote workers save a lot of time by automating administrative tasks they would normally need to complete manually.

In addition, artificial intelligence enables telerobotics, which refers to machines being remotely operated by humans. These semi-autonomous robots can be controlled from a distance and could completely reshape the workspace, especially when integrated with virtual reality. Telerobotics could enable many more employees to work from home than is currently possible. For example, a mechanical engineer can operate a robot and fix a leaking underground pipe without ever leaving their home office. Taken one step further, management could have virtual ‘in-person’ meetings thanks to VR, while everyone is somewhere else in the world.

In the coming years, artificial intelligence will enable a more efficient remote workforce and significantly increase work-life balance for employees.

3. Productivity

When AI will augment humans in doing their jobs, productivity increases. Robots do not get sick, do not need breaks and can work 24/7. As a result, companies that have incorporated AI in their workspace have seen a significant boost in their productivity and revenue. AI can handle the mundane and monotonous tasks, while humans can focus on more complex problems. As a result, an organization implementing AI will become more humane.

For example, AI-powered chatbots can provide a seamless experience to your customers and resolve the most basic questions instantly. Or AI can analyze sales calls and offer real-time tips for sales managers to improve communication with clients. The company Chorus helps to unlock hidden insights from a conversation to close more deals.

If organizations implement AI successfully, the new ways of cooperation among those stakeholders involved (human and artificial) will ensure continued productivity growth.

4. Training & Development

Finally, but certainly not least, comes AI-improved training and development. Corporate training becomes increasingly important in the competitive market and employees to want to develop better skills continuously. Personalized training and development programs can undoubtedly help in retaining your staff.

Chatbots can deliver micro-learning classes at the right moment in time to the right customer. As Miguel Caraballo, Director of Learning and Development at Hodges-Mace, states, “Imagine this, your rookie salesperson is about to visit a client. When she pulls into the parking lot, the company learning-bot pings her phone offering to show a micro-learning class about positive first impressions along with a link to the prospect’s ‘About Us’ page and her manager’s last coaching notes. Now that is a personalized learning experience”.

In addition, similar to how AI can analyze assessments during the recruitment process, AI can analyze training results and offer a personalized training program depending on missing skills. The company Hive Learning uses AI to help employees learn better, faster and more efficient. The company focuses on mobile-first, peer-to-peer learning where AI helps to drive behavior change.

5. Optimize Your Workplace

Any process, device, infrastructure, or customer touchpoint can be made smart by including sensors that are connected to the internet. With the number of connected devices available growing exponentially, this is easier than ever before. In the near future, sensors and connected devices will result in smart homes, smart offices, and smart cities. Hence, employees should be prepared for the smart workplace, where artificial intelligence will create a personalized employee experience.

In 2015, the then smartest building in[5] the world opened: The Edge in Amsterdam. This building knows who is in the building, what their preferences are, and how you like your coffee. Since then, the digital workplace is becoming increasingly intelligent thanks to sensors, machine learning, and wireless (virtual) beacon technology. Sensors and AI can improve lighting control, room control, space management and optimize overall facility management. The objective of smart workplaces is to boost productivity by creating the most-optimal, personalized, workplace for your employees.