Is Your Organization AI Ready?
From Google Home to mobile cheque deposits, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is playing an ever-growing role in our day-to-day activities. With the rapid advances in this area, businesses of all shapes and sizes are considering the technology to improve practices, increase revenue and reduce costs. However, many business leaders are still uncertain about the benefits and the value that AI may provide to their organization.
So, what’s happening today in the realm of AI that employers need to know?
Top industries currently implementing AI systems include manufacturing, health care, human resources, retail and finance. It is transforming the workplace by improving hiring, onboarding and training processes. Through chatbots and computer algorithms, AI technology is being used to simulate a human conversation, to help recruit employees, answer HR questions, or personalize learning experiences.
One of the workplace trends right now includes the replacement of employees with robots or AI systems. In Asia, this is becoming increasingly common with companies like Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance which fired over 30 of its staff members and replaced them with AI powered computers. In doing so, the company was able to save around 140 Million Yen (over $1.6 million CAD) per year. Japan’s shrinking, aging population, coupled with its prowess in robot technology, makes it a prime testing ground for new AI technology. According to a 2015 report by the Nomura Research Institute, nearly half of all jobs in Japan could be performed by robots by 2035. However, there are many legal implications to consider when utilizing AI technology this way. Employers turning to mass layoffs and terminations need to be prepared for employees seeking legal remediation. To mitigate risk, options like mutual separation agreements must be considered.
The face of performance management is also changing as more organizations are utilizing AI to improve this process. Software systems are being implemented to relieve the stress on team leads and managers in keeping track of employee performance. These systems allow employees to keep records of personal goals while aligning them with the organization’s outcomes. If team members are not achieving these goals, the system reviews their performance cycle and changes the process. In this case, employers need to be aware that although AI software uses objective criteria to evaluate employee performance, it may not be able to provide a holistic analysis of each team member due to a lack of empathy and understanding of individual employee situations.
Another AI trend is the use of ‘Hands Free’ work system. With this software, the voice is utilized to complete tasks without the employee having to physically touch any devices. They are able to record, transcribe, and publish meeting minutes, memorandums and other administrative communications. However, there are still challenges with misinterpretation and transcription errors which can be problematic if documents are sent out with mistakes.
There are many benefits to utilizing AI technology in the workplace. However, prior to implementing any of these new systems or software, it is imperative to consult with a technology specialist as well as legal and HR professionals to fully understand the risks. With AI technology constantly changing and developing, it is essential for organizations to stay educated whether they plan to implement them in the near future or not.