With each new major advancement that touches upon the workforce, there comes an inevitable evolution that occurs.
When the United States underwent the Industrial Revolution in the late 1700s through the early 1800s, people began moving away from cities. As such, the shift to manufacturing skillsets, for the most part, limited the creativity of American workers in those types of jobs.
Over the course of the next century, the workforce slowly worked its way into the Information Age, when libraries expanded locations in the 1940s. With the amount of access to information increasing on a larger scale, the way in which people's skill sets were impacted again saw a shift, and this time it was away from traditional manufacturing jobs. This era resulted in people gravitating toward more computational-based positions.
The Information Age is often associated with the Digital Revolution, which is what the world is currently undergoing.
Through the eyes of the Digital Revolution, there's a shift in daily processes, infrastructure and company culture. Basically, what's occurring in the advancements in the economy has a direct impact on businesses and the way they operate.
Technology services and consulting company Infosys sought to peel back the curtain of today's revolution in its latest research, Human Amplification in The Enterprise, on the digital transformation enterprises are undergoing. Interestingly, the study found that of the successful businesses that are seeing growth, 89 percent have already enacted a full-cycle digital transformation that incorporates automation and innovation alongside employee reskilling and learning.
The emphasis on today's digital revolution, at its core, seems to be the continual education of employees throughout the labor force from entry to senior level.
One of the key concerns of many in today's workforce is what automation will do to the availability of jobs. If there are a great number of tasks being automated, will we soon see total replacement of work by humans?
With an astounding 96 percent of people surveyed agreed that pervasive automation is a top priority in their businesses' digital transformation, three out of four said they've been unable to implement automated tasks believed should have some level of automation. The research also indicates the upsides of today's digital transformation in that automation is allowing for more creativity.
"While the research confirms that automation of tasks is a core component of the enterprise's digital transformation journey, the desired outcomes are not just about achieving operational efficiencies and greater productivity. Enterprises see the potential to redirect the human effort saved through automation towards innovation, and to leverage emerging technologies to shape these innovations."
Effectively, the digital transformation is moving the worker responsibility from operational to innovation.
Chief among these emerging technologies is machine learning. The Infosys research shared that out of all the pieces of technology in the digital transformation of enterprises, 75 percent of businesses have indicated machine learning to be one of the core facets of propelling the process forward. AI-based machine learning is also helping enterprises with 83 percent reporting its use to curate and nurture enterprise knowledge that boosts employees' skills.
"An overwhelming majority of organizations are already undergoing full-cycle digital transformation with the automation of tasks at the center of their collective initiatives. This means that, in the future, an organization's competitiveness will be measured of how well its employees are able to do those tasks that automations cannot do — the tasks that involve human curiosity, creativity and hunger to learn and grow. This also means those enterprises that are highly invested in lifelong learning for their employees — to nurture all that is uniquely human in them — will be the ones that have a workforce better suited to capitalize on the future of business."
Hence, the enterprises undergoing today's digital transformation that place a higher importance on amplifying and igniting people's innovative sparks through AI-assisted processes will likely prosper.
In this week's AI/BOT news, we've seen a myriad of interesting developments.
Within the latest research from the Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research lab on the topic of internal bot conversations, it appears that there may exist non-human language. Utilizing machine learning, chatbots have the ability to learn new conversation strategies to respond, thus the researchers highlight that it has “led to divergence from human language as the agents developed their own language for negotiating.”
Amazon's Jeff Bezos sees AI in the form of bots and robotics as an enabling layer in the digital revolution process for not just his own organization but all others in the enterprise. As such, it should come as no surprise that he is planning to make artificial intelligence and machine learning to all enterprises using Amazon Web Services whether or not they have in-house expertise.
As far as the future of AI impacting jobs, former Google CEO and current Alphabet executive chairman Eric Schmidt believes the technology will lead to the creation of new jobs that can't be filled as opposed to mass unemployment.
Overall, it appears that AI like bots and robotics is likely going to see a positive impact on enterprises that choose to embrace it and lift up employees through retraining in the newly developed workforce skill sets. Those choosing not to partake in incorporating AI or who are slow to upgrade legacy systems risk being left behind.