The Role of AI and Robotics in the Future of Work

February 14, 2018

The Role of AI and Robotics in the Future of Work

How you can benefit from the augmented workforce 

There’s a new wave of automation impacting businesses of all sizes and types. Fast food restaurants including McDonald’s and CaliBurger have made investments in automation technologies to drive business value and improve customer experience. Amazon is using artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics to rapidly scale warehouse operations during peak holiday seasons.

While these investments have been celebrated by Wall Street, many workers are left wondering about future job security. Some reports suggest that 47% of US workers are at risk of being replaced by machines. However, McKinsey research has found that fewer than 5% of occupations will be entirely automated because most jobs are too varied and require a human touch.

 

Working together

Deloitte Insights calls it the augmented workforce. Machines will automate the repetitive tasks we do every day to make work easier and more scalable, allowing us more time to focus on the human parts of work such as empathy, persuasion, and personal service. So, AI and robotics are meant to complement, not replace workers.

For example, when McDonald’s announced it was rolling out digital ordering kiosks to 2,500 restaurants, many believed that the company would be firing cashiers. They aren’t. McDonald’s explained that the purpose of the kiosk is to boost sales and efficiency. This also allows cashiers to be moved to other areas of the restaurant, such as table service, to improve customer experience.

 

Redefining the traditional career

With robots picking up those repetitive tasks, many analysts see an increasing demand for creative and social skills. In fact, workers will also need to become lifelong learners to stay competitive. In order to keep up with machines in the workplace, a Pew Research study found that 87% of workers said it will be essential to get training and develop new job skills throughout the course of their working life.

 

Three ways AI and robotics can make an impact

To be successful, workers need to learn how to bridge the gap between robotic process automation and the human elements of work. Find ways to make AI work for you and become a valuable advisor and teammate at your company. Projects will take on different shapes and it will be critical for workers to remain flexible and be ready to fill emerging skill requirements and opportunities.

Consider these three areas where AI and robotics can make a positive impact on the way you work and the service you deliver:

  1. Improve talent acquisition. AI can help your company enhance the recruiting and hiring process by using algorithms to automate job matching, keep qualified applicants on your radar, and even integrate with post-hire systems to track performance and retention.
  2. Automate transactions. More and more companies are using AI and robotic process automation to speed up order processing, reduce human error, and complete transactions. For example, banks are using chatbots, or text-based live chat, to carry out simple tasks for customers and provide better customer service.
  3. Close skill gaps faster. Augmented reality tools are helping companies speed up assembly time, keep workplaces safe, and reduce training times. Machine learning allows workers to learn by doing—by placing workers in real-life situations or guiding them through a step-by-step process—rather than taking a traditional classroom approach.

 

Flexibility is key

Businesses can boost productivity and improve customer service with AI and robotics. By automating repetitive tasks, workers will have more time to spend on strategic activities and learning new skills. Help your workers understand what it means to be part of an augmented workforce and encourage them to play an active role in shaping the future of work. Asure Software’s Talent Management solutions can help you refine recruiting and talent acquisition to build a successful organization for the future.