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June 29, 2018
Razorthink published in AI Informed

Aligning AI and the Workforce

AI-transformation has made the initial jump into everyday life with Alexa and Siri. Uber, is able to predict just how much you’ll pay for that late-night trip, and Netflix uses AI to recommend shows and present viewers with options tailored visually just for them.

Smart machines running on incredibly powerful self-learning software platforms are making the second leap from digital assistant to cross industry disruption, surpassing the capabilities of human data scientists with both speed and accuracy. Now humans can spend more time than ever on intuitive work, allowing machines to rapidly crunch numbers and analyze thousands of possible combinations in the background.

This means that AI applications across the industries can have a significant transformational impact, but only if the workforce adapts to keep up and stay ahead of the game. Adoption of bots in banking is already causing the demand for low skilled branch employees to drop, but jobs shifted from one sector will reappear in others as the industry learns what comes next for BFSI.

Reskilling the current workforce to align them with what AI has to offer is the next step. AI provides value-added services, such as enhanced product development, highly accurate risk management, customized loan underwriting, and more. New recruits to the industry will be expected to have a grip on Fintech and understanding of AI.

According to an EY poll of 200 senior global AI professionals on the current state of AI adoption and integration, lack of available talent is one of the biggest challenges facing the alignment of the workforce with expected adoption and integration of AI. 56% of those surveyed said a lack of AI experts was their greatest barrier to AI implementation within business operations, and cited the need for:

  • Automation specialists
  • Information architects
  • Bot programmers

Most existing roles will need to be realigned and augmented to help humans and machines integrate seamlessly Everyone involved may be expected to participate in instructional processes to gain high understanding of where AI fits in, and how they can use it as a tool to increase productivity.

AI is not to be feared, but embraced, and the workforce is ready. According to the survey, 62% of employees has positive attitudes towards AI, a sign that the initial concern over a direct affect on their lives has been set aside and a readiness to integrate is at hand.

The sooner the workforce recognizes and comes to grips with the flip sides of automation and augmentation, the more quickly they can shift their focus to tasks that are not so readily subsumed by AI driven processes. In retail this means readying for a massive shift in responsibility. As inventory management and similar job move into AI augmented territory, jobs will increase for IoT architects, system integrators, blockchain experts and data analysts.

Top business schools are now adding AI and machine learning in their curriculums, and soon AI implementation specialists will be the ones leading the world of business into a brave new future.