Will AI Make Us Better Workers?

It seems like artificial intelligence (AI) is the subject of every technology headline. We’re confronted with warnings like: Could this be the rise of the robot? What are the ethical implications of AI? Are our human jobs at stake?

Here, we don’t explore those buzz topics. Instead, our approach is more practical – considering how AI will change our work lives. In short, we think it will force us to be better.

Forbes recently published an article on the AI-enhanced economy. The piece is positioned around a study released by the World Economic Forum. It indicates that machine-learning specialist positions will be the skills in highest demand within the next five years. According to the report, shifts in the global job market will result in 58 million net new jobs.

Forbes columnist Joe McKendrick argues that the new economy will call for higher-level workforce skills, both tactical and philosophical in nature. Overall, AI has the potential to completely change the way we think about work. While technology in the past has replaced low-level, mundane jobs, AI is projected to replace what we generally consider “good” jobs, including those of coders, ER techs and statisticians.

With change comes opportunity. In this post, we have identified how AI will push the economy toward higher-level skills and opportunities.

1. Communication Resurgence

“Good work” is generally defined by “efficiency.” As a result, most of our communication efforts are tied to making processes more productive. But with AI technology, processes will be as productive as possible, which will free up time and capital for organizations to devote to deeper, more project-oriented communication.

2. Massive Problem-Solving Initiatives

AI is really good at doing what you tell it to do. There are plenty of examples, but here’s one we all know: location data. When you use Google Maps, your phone uses AI processes to access your location and provide directions.

Because AI executes so well, the downside is that if something goes wrong, the machine will repeat the mistake over and over. One skill our emerging workforce will need to develop is high-level, in-depth problem-solving. Our new IT workforce will be made up of experts who can tease apart nuanced processes, understand root problems and rebuild solutions that scale.

3. Proactive Security

With AI, code can write itself. With the output of data moving faster than ever before, security and reliability should become primary concerns. Future IT workforces must be savvy to threats. Although AI works efficiently, it lacks judgment. That judgment will need to come from a human being.

4. Strength in Culture

If AI frees up capital, it also frees up time, allowing workforces to interact and collaborate like never before. This extra time grants organizations the opportunity to focus on unifying their cultures. The Harvard Business Review notes that great companies think differently by identifying a common purpose, instilling long-term focus and focusing on emotional engagement. All of these are human ideals that can be sharpened with the extra time and resources AI allows.

5. Crystal Clear Vision

Whenever innovation comes knocking on the door, it offers the promise of a new life. It’s important to be cautious here. Sure, AI has the ability to implement change, but your company’s vision should never shift. With AI innovations, it will be increasingly important to understand the difference your organization makes in the world and develop ways to sharpen your mission.

Reimagining Work

AI has inspired much debate with its ethical, legal and social implications. It has created some questions that are difficult to answer. In terms of our everyday lives, it will change the way we think about work, creating positions that force us to ask the hard questions and find solutions collaboratively.

For more AI news, check out our blog post: “What Small Businesses Need to Know about Artificial Intelligence.”