Since the industrial revolution, artificial intelligence (AI) and technology are driving the biggest social and economic changes. Technology is continuing to move upwards at a staggering pace and big data is impacting the way we work. Within the next few years, AI will have many benefits within the workplace for higher quality work, improved reliability, increased and consistent output.
AI has already had an impact on our private and professional lives. With smart algorithms, and lower error rates, machines are capable of doing things beyond human ability. This is expanding, tearing the human activity spectrum and having an impact on work environment. This will result in a considerable change in employees’ hard and soft skills requirement in all industries.
From healthcare to clerical industries, AI will surely wipe out some jobs however, it will also create/change jobs and increase the skill sets of workers in areas such as data and programming, data-powered products and services, deep learning, and machine learning etc.
Within the next 5 years, day-to-day tasks will be even more impacted by AI, machine learning and automation. It will also aid in high-level cognitive tasks, like identifying connections and assessing conclusions.
For example, healthcare and pharmaceutical companies are using AI for enhancing R&D, advances in personalised medicine and treatments but also data management of medical records, digital drug formularies and HIPAA and HITECH regulations etc.
They currently organise their data into silos which causes a loss of opportunities for finding patterns and correlations among datasets. However, AI and cognitive services will allow them to have more time to retrieve, process and analyse data.
With real-time insights (cloud connected healthcare), medical practitioners also have a better understanding of what patients experience which helps them adjust dosages, suggest alternatives or complimentary treatment modalities faster.
This will ultimately enable workers to spend their time efficiently on work that is more creative, fulfilling, challenging and engaging.
SAP Chief Financial Officer, Luka Mucic says, “The goal should be for man and machine to complement each other in the workplace, with machines supporting human work.”
This ideology can be applied in different ways. On of them is that AI will support training activities thanks to automated chatbots. As they have the ability to understand speech and to a lesser extent, languages, chatbots are used to help answer simple customer questions. These systems are still limited but help staff respond to queries more quickly.
Another example of AI supporting training would be Paediatric HAL, a hyper-realistic paediatric patient simulator developed by a US company, Gaumard.
HAL is the most advanced patient simulator of this kind in the world. It can bleed, change skin colour and eye movements to reflect physical and emotional state and produces a wide range of facial expressions that offer professionals real life training in real time by monitoring and performing a full range of emergency room procedures. For instance, tracheotomies and chest tube insertions as well as mechanical ventilator use.
The simulator helps healthcare providers face a lot of challenges, including physical, psychological and emotional ones, linked to young patients. It also gives professionals the confidence they need to perform well.
The future for artificial intelligence is not exactly clear but it will surely change the workplace by helping employees work in a more efficient way in all industries. A survey conducted by Accenture states that in the next 3 years, 61% of business leaders expect to collaborate with AI and 54% consider human-machine collaboration to be just as important as achieving their strategic priorities.