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The Future of Work Collaborates with AI

19 days ago by Andrea Amato

As we continue to enjoy the many use cases presented by AI technologies, our reliance has spread among diverse industries in a bid to explore its contributions. Briefly defined, AI aims to mimic human behaviour through computer systems and perform tasks that would usually necessitate human intervention. Through defined algorithms, AI is able to learn and replicate tasks that were successful, and contrarily, prevent future actions that proved less fruitful outcomes.

Whilst we observe how AI interacts in our daily in-office and remote jobs across several fields, there is less detailed conversation surrounding its replacement of human abilities altogether. In truth, many of these technologies still require individuals to construct and maintain them over time. AI has absolutely altered our perspective toward work and the quantity of tasks we can overcome. We need to actively view AI as tools that can complement our jobs, not replace them.


A Shifting Context

Following the above, copious amounts of research is dedicated to uncovering the extent to which our HR, accounting, and IT jobs (among others) can be overrun by computers. One popularly cited paper written by Benedikt Frey & Osborne (2013) found that 47% of present work completed by humans can be replaced by computers by 2037. Whilst it is true that many tasks will be intervened by robots and other assistive technologies, AI will actually open a lot more jobs as many of these require consistent monitoring and coordination to ensure optimum performance.

In a world that heavily depends on technology, you will undoubtedly at some point or another be met with individuals who continue to preach this helpless computer replacement series. Some employers will too believe their organisation can reap the fruit of automated processes absolved from human error. However, this doesn’t necessarily equate to better productivity. Research provided by Wilson & Daugherty (2018) found that organisations that ushered the collaboration between humans and AI reaped the most rewards in terms of company performance.

Human and AI intelligence can work together to strengthen each other’s capabilities. The powerful human qualities such as empathy, leadership, and creativity are healthily balanced with AI’s strengths in scalability and quantitative speed. The natural behaviour of humans such as humour and compassion cannot be replaced by computers, and vice versa for system capabilities in analysing a large corpus of data. In this way, companies will still require both machines and humans to support business objectives and jobs in Malta or elsewhere. 


The Strengths of Humans and Machines

To further understand what applications in AI necessitate some human intervention today, it’s worth exploring a generalised approach toward the assistance between man and machine. Adapted from Wilson.& Daughterty (2018), there are three main ways humans will continue to remain involved with computers well into the future:

  • Training: before a machine can make its own decisions based off its algorithm, a human must design this to work functionally and intuitively. For starters, large quantities of data must be fed into the machine before its singular decision-making. Training staff will continue their dedication toward high-functioning performance in machine learning.

  • Explaining: like many IT jobs, AI can become increasingly complex to non-experts in the field. Understanding and sharing its functionality to humans outside their realm will be required from other humans that work closely with the machines. AI doesn’t explain themselves, so humans are positioned with making these more accessible to consumers and stakeholders.

  • Sustaining: once AI has been implemented in an organisation, these machines will require regular maintenance and testing procedures given by humans. Jobs will advance in this space especially, as dedicated employees will work to ensure technologies are performing well and safely.

The above helps portray a more positive outlook towards the relationship held between humans and technology. If our perspective alters to mesh the benefits both possess, we can continue designing these technologies to work in our favour and support our everyday jobs in Malta and beyond.


Trending Applications in AI

Every year, the applications of AI grow more diverse and sophisticated. Notably, every industry is implementing technology to support their daily needs so that employees can focus on more complex circumstances that requires further attention. Whilst AI has to some extent been introduced in arguably all spheres of the workplace, the following industries will be highlighted:

  • E-commerce: we’re always looking for ways to encourage computing to become easier for users, and one way we view this is in personalised shopping experiences. Software is designed to recommend products that suit your profile, based off numerous categories such as browsing history and interests. Natural language processing (NLP) is used to support chatbots that assists consumer queries, enriching the consumer relationship overall.

  • Robotics: perhaps a more popularised technology, many companies are working on assistive robots to help quicken certain mundane tasks. Whether this means carrying items across hospitals or cleaning office environments, AI is optimised so that robots are able to conduct their journeys effectively with little human involvement.

  • Human resources (HR): many organisations, especially larger ones are often inundated with hundreds of job applications that burdens HR departments when these are irrelevant. This time-consuming review process has been replaced by AI, in that organisations specify parameters software should look out for to determine its relevancy in an application. AI in this way creates a shortlist of relevant candidates that can later be approved by recruiters.

  • Healthcare: closely working alongside researchers, AI has numerous scopes in the healthcare industry. Be it through sophisticated machinery that helps detect patient illness or analyse lab results, technology has abled healthcare to quickly determine potentially life-changing health outcomes.

  • Gaming: a more modern industry adopting AI has been in gaming, where NPCs are created to interact with players. It’s also used more intricately in developing game design and maintenance via testing procedures. Specifically, AI analyses game behaviour by players in order to improve its structure and gameplay interaction.

Upon reading these use cases, it becomes increasingly more apparent that the diversity of AI technologies allows for numerous applications across a myriad of industries. The workplace will undoubtedly become more adept with AI as they continue to advance alongside complex workplace tasks. It will continue to inspire the future of jobs and how we navigate technology generally, hopefully with an optimistic stance in fostering a better workplace environment for all.