Paul Conneally, Marketing Lead EMEA, LiveTiles
As we embark on a journey soon to be dominated by artificial intelligence, the human-machine narrative persists, with the added debate about the need for AI to free up our time and focus on what being human really means.
If AI is poised to take over a significant percentage of tasks that are traditionally performed by humans, what might this mean for the future of work? What might it mean for the future of humanity? How can AI ensure that the precious hours in our offices, factories, hospitals and schools are being spent in the most productive and beneficial manner?
These are some of the questions that we address at LiveTiles every day, where our mission is to humanise technology. In doing so we want to seize the opportunity to contribute to the creation of an ethical framework for AI.
AI is spoken about with hyperbole and pessimism in equal measure. Our position is a positive one: to embrace AI and shape it as a force for good – especially for the future of work, where it is likely to have the most immediate impact.
AI has the power to relieve people from the drudgery of menial work, and to carry out tasks with a greater speed, scale and accuracy than humans. But even in its formative years, AI is doing much more than tedious tasks. It is outperforming medical consultants in diagnosing cancer and eye disease, and in the field of autonomous driving it is on the verge of saving more than 1.3 million lives needlessly lost to road accidents every year.
This incredible, transformative opportunity needs to be embraced and leveraged for the good of all people. We simply cannot turn our backs on the power and potential of AI. We cannot allow ourselves to fall prey to paranoid narratives but step up and bring about a positive AI signalling a brighter, healthier, more creative future.
But what about the millions of people around the world who earn their salaries from the jobs that AI will replace? Are they facing unemployment? AI represents the fifth industrial revolution, following in the footsteps of steam, mass production, personal computing and the current era of digital transformation – all of these “revolutions” have been disruptive, and all have led to both the disappearance of jobs and the creation of new ones.
The work of a data scientist, for instance, didn’t exist in its current form ten years ago, yet this job is now indispensable across a range of industries, from event management to banking, because digital transformation brings with it the ability to generate and convert data to provide fresh insights and new revenue opportunities.
We need to discover, through experience, where the sweet spots between human and machine collaboration lie. At LiveTiles, we find that one of the sweetest spots is in employee empowerment – putting the tools and capabilities into the hands of employees so they can be more productive, engaged and collaborative.
One of our developments, for instance, is a customisable virtual assistant, or bot – customisable so that people without engineering skills can still create their own bots. The typical approach to bots to date has been for AI developers to be the only ones who can make or edit bots, but we’re shifting that. This can be a real game-changer, not just in terms of productivity but also in terms of stimulating and democratising innovation and improving employee participation and morale.
Digital transformation, after all, is essentially about people. It is about change management and not just a technology story. Business leaders must engage and educate staff in the topic of AI and how it can enhance collaboration and bring value to the workplace.
Starting with easy wins such as a simple chatbot solution to get people comfortable with human-machine collaboration is a smart move. This will provide context and set the scene for a successful transition, where frequent usage of AI will be more positively embraced and perceived as a win-win by employees and customers alike.
Looking into the future, AI will drive granularity when it comes to achieving business goals and genuinely personalised experiences. It will escalate the importance of return on experience (for users and customers) as the true indicator of business success.
The opportunity exists today to help build an ethical framework for AI. You don’t need a degree in computer science to draw up an AI strategy. AI is in the business of perception, prediction, judgement and action – and so are you, which means you are perfectly placed to shape how AI contributes to business and society in the future.
Business leaders and managers do not watch from the sidelines as others shape the future of AI and how it will impact your business and values. Now is the moment to build the future.
Written by Karl Redenbach, CEO, LiveTiles