Artificial Intelligence Within the Workforce
The large-scale adoption of AI will allow the companies that employ the technology to become more efficient and gain a competitive edge. Overall, organizations are looking to enhance the quality of their products and services through the use of AI. Optimizing internal and external operations, improving the decision-making process, and freeing workers to do other jobs and be more creative are some of the benefits that AI could be bringing to the table.
Companies such as Pfizer are focused on delivering quality at a fast pace. Adecco already uses AI to handle their workers’ time registration and wage administration. They also designed a virtual marketplace environment that utilizes AI in order to allow market participants to find each other. Furthermore, the CIO of Canada, Alex Benay, declares that the government could also benefit from utilizing AI in order to keep up with partner institutions. However, the government of Canada is also looking to create policies surrounding the use of AI, to ensure that the adoption of the new technology is done responsibly and ethically.
Currently, the use of AI is limited to specific functions. However, as time goes by, companies are looking toward integrating comprehensive AI systems. Right now, there are ‘three system models’ that enterprises are considering. The ‘cloud-native model’, the ‘package-adjunct model’ and the ‘open-algorithm model.’ The prospect of building platforms that have AI at their core has led big market players such as Google Cloud, AWS and Microsoft to invest in ML, AI and big data. Furthermore, Baidu and Alibaba are looking to create a multitude of AI solutions that are cloud-based. As this sector evolves, workers are likely to be negatively affected by the large-scale adoption of AI. PwC foresees that in the beginning stages, the introduction of AI will displace around 3% of jobs. Nevertheless, by 2035, the number might go up to 30%.
The company saw great potential in AI technology and they sought to find out how and where to apply it. In 2018, they invited over 1,000 employees to take part in their AI booth camps. The 5 camps that they held helped them understand the technology’s capacities and limitations. Furthermore, the company decided to invest in people by creating an AI Center of Excellence. They started hiring developers who have a good grasp of the pharmaceutical industry and are able to design AI solutions suitable for the business requirements of this sector. Through the use of AI, the ‘design-and-build process’ has been made easier and faster to the benefit of the development teams working within the company. Not only that but also AI adoption strengthens the connection between different departments within the company and saves employees a lot of time. One department’s newly developed AI solutions will allow everybody else to learn and design programs fit for their own departments.
2. Government of Canada
The CIO of Canada, Alex Benay, believes that AI should be a priority for governments. Not only do they need to keep up with the organizations with which they generally partner, such as telecommunication enterprises or banks, but also, as the technology becomes more and more widespread, they need to create guidelines and policies surrounding the use of AI in order to ensure that it is utilized responsibly and ethically. At the moment, Canada is working on creating a directive surrounding the issue of ‘automated decision-making’. To this avail, the government consulted with academia, with corporations, and with the citizens. Furthermore, they are looking to work with other countries as well. So far, ‘the Digital 9 group of nations’ have been engaging in several conversations regarding AI and ethics. The CIO declares that, because the technology is new and rapidly evolving, Canada needs to frequently reconsider its AI directive at pre-established time intervals.
So far, the principles established by the Canadian government to promote the ethical use of AI focus on first measuring and understanding how the new technology impacts society. They are also committed to being transparent and provide the citizens with in-depth explanations when it comes to government uses of AI. Furthermore, they are looking to be open and provide the source code and other important information such as training data. Regarding training, they are committed to training their employees and help them develop the necessary skills in order to design and use AI solutions to the betterment of public services.
3. Adecco Group
Adecco predicts a technological future that allows the human workforce to benefit from the use of AI and not to be replaced by it. They believe that human skills can only be enhanced by AI technology. Regarding the use of AI at Adecco, they believe that it will facilitate recruitment, increase company performance (as some of the core tasks will be automated) and help create innovative products for their clients. So far, AI seems to have been utilized to the benefit of future employees.
The Mya Systems' chatbot makes the recruitment process easier by finding suitable candidates, reaching out to them and setting up appointments. It appears that this strategy was successful when it came to filling permanent positions within the company. They also use AI to facilitate the processes surrounding time registration and wages. Moreover, Adecco created YOSS, a marketplace that brings together freelancers and hiring companies. Overall, AI allowed Adecco to expand into the digital market and explore other markets as well.
4. Google Cloud
Google uses AI across the entire organization. They are looking to make the technology available to every business. Company representatives believe that AI can help organizations deal with business challenges. They state that AI will transform every enterprise within the next 10 years. In terms of AI uses at Google, Rajen Sheth, who is 'senior director of product management at Google Cloud Artificial Intelligence,' says that the company utilized Google Assistant in order to personalize the customer experience. This technology brings together machine learning and natural language recognition capacities.
Another example of AI uses at Google has to do with enhancing energy efficiency in the Google buildings. Through machine learning, the system was able to establish the optimal settings and save the company a significant amount of money. Overall, Google believes that AI should be socially beneficial, that it should ‘avoid creating or reinforcing unfair bias’, that it should be safe, that it should be accountable, that it should allow for privacy and follow ‘high standards of scientific excellence.’ Finally, the utilization of AI should also conform to the same principles, Google representatives believe.
The ever-increasing amount of information that entrepreneurs need to process in order to understand their customers and run their businesses has exceeded the limited abilities of the human workforce. The large volume of data resulting from the human-computer interaction demands the superior processing capacities of AI. In the healthcare sector, the industry leaders will be those that enable their patients to have control over their own health data. Furthermore, as leading organizations, they are expected to design technological solutions that allow customers to log real time data and obtain useful insights in return.
Anthem’s strategy is to treat ‘every individual as a population of one.’ To achieve this purpose, they created a platform that is entirely based on an AI engine. In the process of switching from a point-to-point approach to an integrative AI platform, they sought to enhance their data management capacities, includes a data management strategy and different security solutions. Machine learning, algorithm layers as well as software development tools were then added. Little by little, more and more processes were automated in an attempt to better serve customers. In terms of the human workforce, the company’s efforts to enhance operational functions with the use of AI created a need for the enterprise to expand its pool of human talent. They now offer training programs intended to attract and retain skilled workers through their Anthem AI department. This department was designed to encourage employees to innovate and design creative AI solutions.
The decision to adopt AI came about when the company was faced with the challenges imposed by the production of their A350 aircraft. Wanting to increase productivity and prevent the setbacks that factory disruptions might cause, Airbus started looking into implementing AI. Through artificial intelligence, the machine gathers data concerning Airbus production programs and then finds similarities between the issues occurred throughout the various programs. Analyzing the previously collected information surrounding past issues and their respective solutions, the AI system finds solutions to newly occurred problems that follow patterns similar to those tackled in the past. Therefore, AI helps workers complete their tasks faster and with less difficulty. Using AI to solve problems disrupting company processes is a strategy that other companies have begun to adopt as well. Among these, we enumerate Infosys, BP, Ping An Insurance or Wells Fargo.
Other important findings
- The adoption of AI will change the face of the majority of industries and companies. In the case of insurance companies, for example, AI will have profound implications on the industry as a whole. New technologies that are based in AI or that integrate AI solutions, such as self-driving cars or IoT devices that monitor risk factors around the house, will definitely have an impact on the number and type of insurance claims filed.
- To keep up with the upcoming changes, managers will have to create a comprehensive strategy to oversee the transformation of operations, technologies and human talent. Investing in talent is definitely one of the key factors that will ensure the companies’ success in the new technological environment. This means hiring people with the right mindset and abilities.
- Employees will need to adapt to the new requirements of the industry. Being creative, technologically literate, keeping up with the dynamic and ever-changing character of the new technologies are some of the skills which seem necessary in an AI-fueled business. This means that a lot of companies will have to create training programs to reskill their employees and think of new strategies to attract and retain knowledgeable people.
- The demand for designers, data engineers, technologists, data scientists, and cloud computing specialists will increase.
- At the moment, statistics indicate that about 1 in 5 companies utilize AI to complete some of their processes, while 1 in 20 companies have integrated AI to a larger degree.
- The bigger companies, those that count over 100,000 employees, seem to be more prone to incorporating AI; however, only half of them have done so as of yet.
- Overall, the percentage of companies that utilize AI falls under 39% at the moment. When it comes to technology adoption strategies, companies fall into four categories.
- Pioneers represent 19% of companies. They have understood and already incorporated AI technologies, utilizing AI to facilitate processes and create innovative products to offer their clients. Investigators currently represent 32% of enterprises. They are studying and testing AI but have not adopted it.
- Experimenters currently make up about 13% of businesses. The opposite of Investigators, these companies are implementing AI and experimenting with it without having previously learned about it. Finally, Passives, 36% of companies have neither adopted nor looked into AI and its capacities.