How does AI impact the workplace?
How does AI impact the workplace?

The artificial intelligence industry is booming, which may come as no surprise after recent reports in the media regarding robots that comfort the elderly in France or Amazon's Kiva robots that operate in the brand's warehouses.

Advancements related to AI in the average workplace are no exception. Gartner predicts that by 2022, the business value generated from AI is expected to reach $3.9 trillion. This value will come from customer experience, new revenue and cost reduction.

Here are points to help you structure answers for your teams' questions about AI in the workplace. 

The future's going to be different
Think about how fast smartphones appeared on the market and took over. For instance, wearable and internet of things advancements incorporate apps on phones, and Google's Assistant and Amazon Alexa are now must-haves.

AI is always evolving, just as these new technologies are changing the game completely. Tell employees they can expect the AI market to be in constant flux, and that means workplace AI, too. 

Trial and error tactics are pretty much never going to end. Encourage workers to keep an open mind and to be flexible about changes in processes.

And, to ensure that everyone stays abreast to the latest, spread awareness by sending out news and tips for dealing with these AI updates.

AI won't replace employees' creative minds
Also make sure you're affirming that employees can't be replaced fully by AI. For instance, AI isn't necessarily going to be the most creative or ambitious, Forbes stated. That's why real people are still needed to assess data and make human decisions about business.

Robots aren't going to replace human's creativity in the workplace anytime soon.Robots aren't going to replace human's creativity in the workplace anytime soon.

Where AI can really transform a workplace are areas like analyzing large data sets and providing instant assessments. Employees can then use this information without having to engage with time-consuming and repetitive tasks. 

While new AI developments like bots and virtual assistants do have the capability to learn speech and language, ZD Net reported, this doesn't necessarily mean that you'll be seeing a robot out of the movies that will use its knowledge against you and take over the world.

But, it doesn't hurt to reiterate this to your team. Encourage employees to think of AI less as a human replacement and more as a tool to streamline data processes that will help the business run more smoothly.

Be diligent with compliance and regulations
The Society for Human Resource Management interviewed an attorney working for LA's Grube Brown & Geidt about the effects of AI on the recruitment process. The attorney said that AI screening processes can actually discriminate based on a job applicant's race, age or sex. 

As such, it's important for managers to continue to monitor the results of the algorithms it uses to screen candidates. Otherwise companies could face legal issues. 

Humans are still responsible for ensuring that the processes AI helps streamline are efficient, operating correctly and follow all laws and regulations.

Train, educate and expand positions
With any new technology comes a unique skill set and foundational knowledge. Make sure you invest in training or ways of educating employees about any AI devices or systems that you implement in the office. Encourage questions and offer free seminars or newsletters. 

If a system or process is brand new and requires additional industry knowledge, you may even consider creating a brand-new position for someone who will have the sole focus of managing the new AI operation. 

As AI infiltrates the workplace, whether in the devices or systems used, there's no doubt that managers and executives have a big responsibility to monitor AI use and educate employees accordingly. When you're approached with questions, remember to stress these points so that everyone in the workplace knows the risks and benefits of what they're up against.

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