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Author's profile photo Kerry Brown

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, April 2019.

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      Author's profile photo Pierre COL
      Pierre COL

      Hi Kerry,

      Thanks for putting on the table the impacts that our technologies can have on people's lives, as SAP's purpose is to "Help the world run better and improve people’s lives".

      Hopefully, from what we have seen until now from a Robotic Process Automation standpoint, and for years – I joined SAP with Contextor acquisition – is that RPA and AI does not reduce the number of jobs, but they positively change their content by removing the tedious repetitive tasks.

      By “taking the robot outside the human worker”, robots make him/her more available to leverage his/her very human skills to better serve customers or colleagues. Many examples of that can be found in my blog posts:

      How Software Robots “Augment Humans” in Services

      Infusing RPA With Machine Learning: A Powerful Medley

      SAP Intelligent RPA Success Stories – Get to know some of our customers

      That is a positive outcome that has to be constantly explained, as there is a fear of software robots destroying millions of jobs around the globe…

      Author's profile photo Kerry Brown
      Kerry Brown
      Blog Post Author


      You are so right! The WEF Future of Work content we included on our page highlights that for every job that is lost there will be 1.3 new jobs coming, so there is good news ahead.

      Another analogy we use is to consider AI/ML as an 'intern' or coworker to augment or extend capabilities vs replace people or jobs.

      Thanks for your insightful comments!


      Author's profile photo taylor James
      taylor James

      Thanks for sharing this question , great to read your keep writing such amazing blog glad to know about machine learning and artificial intelligence from you

      Author's profile photo Kerry Brown
      Kerry Brown
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks – appreciate the feedback – love to learn what interests the community!

      Author's profile photo Richard Paul
      Richard Paul

      Chatbots are a great assistance to all kinds of businesses that involve customer engagements. A basic chatbot can readily resolve simple queries and thereby doesn’t waste the time of a human. Modern AI-based chatbots are capable of handling complex queries and providing adequate suggestions.There exist different kinds of chatbots including chatbots for car dealerships, chatbots for restaurants, and much more chatbot development agencies that customize the chatbot according to the requirement of the business

      Author's profile photo Kerry Brown
      Kerry Brown
      Blog Post Author

      Thanks for the comments - you're right that chatbots are in many places throughout our lives now.

      Author's profile photo Paul PINARD
      Paul PINARD

      Hi Kerry Brown,

      Thanks for sharing this great blog, very insightful. Can’t agree more with Richard Paul.

      Since it’s related to chatbots, and SAP Conversational AI in a way, would you be able to add the SAP Conversational AI tag so it appears in the list of articles available for our community?

      Author's profile photo Kerry Brown
      Kerry Brown
      Blog Post Author

      done 🙂