Will Chatbots, Artificial Intelligence And Machine Learning Take The Work Out Of Work?
It’s no surprise that innovation is “taking the work out of work” with chatbots, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. So what’s left? One could say it’s the play aspects of work—activities that inspire curiosity, provoke creativity and with it, personal satisfaction and professional growth.
Companies and industries of all shapes and sizes are adjusting to the profound impact technology is having on the future of work. For example, Patrick Schwerdtfeger, TEDx speaker, identifies the following four trends in AI that directly impact the workforce:
1. Facial Recognition could impact 1.8 million jobs
2. Natural Language Processing will impact more than 3 million call center workers
3. Self-checkout impacts more than 3.4 million cashiers
4. Autonomous driving will impact more than 3.5 million commercial driver
At SxSW 2019, panels on the Resume of the Future and personal branding highlighted skills that are new differentiators – like the ability to be a good ‘googler’ to solve spontaneous problems through initiative, persistence and grit.
These skills are the distinction between man and machine, what is unique and special about each of us. These qualities are part of what the World Economic Forum outline as human skills needed as part of the 58 million new jobs – in categories which don’t exist, or which barely exist – that will be created by 2022.
This is where the ‘play’ comes in
By reducing the amount of administrative and duplicative work, we’re left with a new class of jobs that require more human intellect, skill and empathy – attributes machines can’t replicate today.
Just some of the new jobs that have been identified include Chief Amazement Officer, Chief Catalyst, Robot Choreographer, Digital Credentialist, Human AI Ambassador, Director of Storytelling, Passion Broker, Chief Ethics Hacker…and the list goes on. As Eric Stine, SAP Chief Innovation Officer, observed in his recent blog post:
“At the heart of this shift is empathy. Instead of treating people as assets, capital, or resources, we treat them as human beings and design solutions around their individual needs. Today savvy companies are applying the same set of tools for Customer Experience (CX) to Employee Experience (EX).”
There is no shortage of opportunity to apply technology or source data. The value comes when it simultaneously improves the way people work, the customer experience and business performance.
At Walgreens they are doing just that, using bots to handle transactional HR work “transforming human work from transactional to experiential,” according to Curt Burghardt, VP HR Shared Services & HR Systems.
“Just like there are different employees, there are different bots,” said Burghardt. “What we do for our customers we could do for our employees by applying new automation internally. The pace of technology is so fast, what couldn’t be done a year ago, we can do now.”
These changes are allowing their people to problem-solve and focus on specifics, greatly reducing demand on the help desk and significantly increasing value and satisfaction. It certainly, sounds like a lot more fun to me.
We will all continue to learn how and where to automate, expedite and where to change again. As Curt shared, it’s not “a one and done.”
Originally appeared on forbes.com, April 2019.