Artificial Intelligence And The Digital Workplace
- Jul 27, 2018
The road to the digital workplace has been an ongoing journey that started two decades ago. Today, businesses are digitizing not only their information but their processes and workflows as well. Workforce is increasingly dispersed, working around the clock, sometimes without even seeing your colleagues in person. Companies are global, and so are their customers.
Artificial intelligence (AI) will be a good thing for the digital workplace. Despite concerns about job redundancies and shifting enterprise priorities, recent research from global auditing company PwC suggests that, far from hindering employees or even making some jobs obsolete, AI will help workers achieve business objectives quicker and more effectively.
AI and the Human Factor
AI requires input — human input — for it to learn and grow. That's why the most effective AI technologies seamlessly blend human and artificial intelligence.
Many companies are already using AI to improve functions across their entire enterprise. In the unified communications sector, AI is changing the way companies structure their workflows, decision-making processes, and their strategy planning. When coupled with analytics, AI programming helps leaders make better employee, customer and production decisions based on both existing circumstances and AI-predicted future events.
Customer service chatbots are designed to act like humans but actually are just digital portals. These virtual assistants automatically engage in “conversations” with consumers while also managing their transactions. AI will also streamline mobile messaging capabilities between consumers and vendors. AI automation in this case will give corporations the tools they need to embrace customer-related mobile messaging at the same speed (or close to it) their customers are adopting it.
Artificial intelligence (AI) goes a long way in automating the otherwise manual labor of storing, sharing and managing business information. Advancements in natural language processing and understanding enable AI functionality to automatically provide context to a piece of information, tying it to related workflows and looping in the people needed to move the workflow along. With AI, workers don’t have to worry about the additional workload caused by more and more information that needs to be processed. In addition, they can enjoy the full advantage of the mobility and accessibility the digital workplace brings to drive toward larger business goals.
The problem is AI cannot do what humans can do even if it can be trained to do a wide range of repetitive tasks. Companies should use AI for highly repetitive tasks that can be scaled and solve problems that can lead to significant improvement in processes. What it shouldn’t do is solve problems that are outside of what humans are capable of, problems that have never been solved, or problems that humans are really good at solving. Some areas that have high potential for AI opportunities include monitoring illnesses, drug discovery, adaptive road traffic control, autonomous vehicles, real-time personalized promotions, inventory optimization in manufacturing and more.
Tomorrow’s digital workplace has the potential to not only replace the in-person interactions with equally meaningful digital interactions, they make it possible to have more engaging and authentic relationships than in the old-fashioned workplace. Work can become more customized to each individual. Leaders can have a bigger personal impact, with authentic interactions at scale. Every interaction becomes more accountable, a never-ending wellspring of data that can be mined and refined to predict future behavior and mold it towards where the team needs to be.