It is nothing new that artificial intelligence (AI) has overtaken many manufacturing industries – with many picking and packing jobs now being undertaken by robots. They have better precision, consistency and lack all human flaws; ultimately boosting productivity in the workplace. Once considered a replacement for mundane and repetitive work, AI is making its way into other sectors.
Here are some examples of how it is transforming the workforce.
Telemarketing and Customer Service
The online chat bot was invented to solve complaints and queries. Most commonly used in internet and technology companies – they are developing its auto responses to become more fluent in responding appropriately to questions. AI powered voice bots are also advancing their speech recognition and generation in a way that could eventually replace humans in call centre environments. Google assistant can make phone calls to others that sound so convincingly human that the recipient on the other end will struggle to differentiate between the two. Implementing AI voices like this could save a company a lot of money on employee training. However, the downside of it lies with breaking consumer trust and lack of authenticity.
Office & Administration
Data entry is one of the biggest office roles that is being overcome by AI. Xtracta is an automated data entry software that will process invoices, contracts and receipts, just from a scanned or photographed document. This eliminates the need for manual data entry and creates less paperwork, saving a few trees in the process. If the software makes an error, it will learn from it upon human correction – getting smarter as it works.
Due to the nature of this industry relying on human contact and observation, it appears to be one of the areas that should not be interfered with by AI. However, the advances in technology could lead to faster and more accurate diagnoses.
ADA, launched in 2016, is an app created by doctors, physicians and others in health-related professions that is predominately used as a diagnostic tool. It connects and filters down vast amounts of medical knowledge inputted by doctors from around the world with technology to help diagnose a patients ailments.
This if effectively using multiple brains and knowledge compiled into one massive database, removing the need to visit multiple doctors and perhaps reducing the strain of the NHS.
It seems a very rational fear that robots will take over the workforce almost entirely, considering the speed AI is progressing. However, some experts predict it will actually create more jobs than it will destroy. An article by Forbes claims that
“AI contributed a whopping $2 trillion to global GDP last year. By 2030, it could be as much as $15.7 trillion, “making it the biggest commercial opportunity in today’s fast changing economy,”
according to a recent report by PwC.
The ultimate problem with AI is that whilst it can be programmed to do almost anything a human can do practically – it does not possess the core skills that make us human i.e. – empathy, critical thinking or creativity. This secures certain sectors such as entertainment, art and industries that require strong ‘people’ skills from being taken over. That is unless they programme a self-aware, free-thinking robot – In which case the whole world will encounter a game changer.
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