Any great revolution brings with it considerable changes. As humans, we had seen this before, from the revolutionary invention of the wheel to all the changes that followed the Industrial Revolution.
To continue reading the rest of this article, please log in.
Create free account to get unlimited news articles and more!
We are currently in the midst of a new revolution — the artificial intelligence (AI) revolution — and just like before, this one will also result in some job losses and the creation of new ones.
How will AI impact the workplace?
I have been in the workplace for 18 years, and on my own journey, I have witnessed many changes in two different markets (South America and now Australia). I find it amusing how many behaviours in the past that were considered normal or acceptable are now being cancelled, but, in most cases, I am pretty happy with the evolution of workplace culture.
I can say firsthand that technology has shaped the workplace in many ways, from the way we communicate with each other to the freedom of being able to work from anywhere. We have adopted some behaviours and even some “techy” language, including emojis, as a part of our everyday language.
From my own experience and from what I see coming, this is how I think we will continue to see more impact of AI in the workplace.
More democratic job interview process
Recruitment will soon be in the hands of machines, which will surely look for facts and won’t be influenced by unconscious biases. Therefore, if all employees go through the same process, they will have an equal chance of being selected, regardless of who they know within the company or any other irrelevant factors.
I also believe that if a machine takes care of this tedious job in the recruitment process, HR managers will have more time to spend building connections and making employees feel more comfortable.
New skill set requirements
People will need to live and work alongside machines. We will need to learn new skills, such as prompt engineering (asking prompts to ChatGPT). We will learn and unlearn things, but one thing is for sure: “AI came to stay.”
Fewer work hours
After COVID-19, people have reprioritised their lives, and we will continue to see this trend. As the workload reduces thanks to the productivity of machines, people will demand fewer work hours and have more time to spend with their families and loved ones. We have already seen trials of the four-day working week in the UK and other countries.
It is still uncertain how wealth will be distributed, but if we could put a man on the moon, I’m sure we will be able to figure out how to ensure wealth is distributed evenly in the era of machines.
More interactive ways of working with machines
We are seeing an increase in the creation of new tools in the voice generation space, and soon computers will easily understand our commands and be able to convert them into tasks.
Apps like Zia from Zoho CRM or ClickUp’s Alexa and Google Assistant integrations have already implemented some voice command features, where you can convert your voice request into a task in your project management system or have a reminder of things to do in your day.
This will be the norm in the future of the workplace, where we will be able to talk to the computer to organise our days and complete tasks.
Collaborators instead of employees
If you were an employee 15 years ago, you probably dreamt of having a “safe” job, a monthly fixed income that pays the bills and allows you to buy a home and pay for the holidays. That is not the priority of the younger generation, with people like Ryan Kaji, who started a YouTube channel in 2015 with his parents and earned $11 million between 2016 and 2017 at the young age of nine years old.
This new generation has access to tools that were unthinkable before, and they are creating new income streams. Therefore, a “fixed” salary is not tempting anymore. Based on this, I believe we will see more “collaborators”, people who join for specific projects instead of working full-time.
The future of work will be working on a project-by-project basis and no longer a nine-to-five working week. We have already seen this trend in the growing number of freelance platforms like Upwork, Freelancer, Fiverr, and others.
In the future, companies will need to offer more than just a fixed salary to attract the best talents and be able to provide unique services.
While AI can perform repetitive tasks based on pre-trained models, it cannot, so far, create NEW things, and that is where we will need the human touch.
I’m sure that what I mentioned above sounds like science fiction, but so did many of the “new” things we use today when they were first created. People might have believed that Nikola Tesla was crazy when in 1926, in an interview at Collier’s magazine, he stated: “When wireless is perfectly applied, we shall be able to communicate with one another instantly, irrespective of distance. Not only this, but through television and telephony, we shall see and hear one another as perfectly as though we were face to face despite intervening distances of thousands of miles; and the instruments through which we shall be able to do this will be amazingly simple compared with our present telephone. A man will be able to carry one in his vest pocket.”
Doesn’t that sound familiar to you? It is, in fact, a highly technical explanation of a phone today.
I personally feel optimistic about the impact that AI will have in the workplace, and I am not afraid of losing my job. I believe that humans will always be needed. We just need to find new ways to contribute value.
Luján De Felice is a marketing executive at Mo Works.
This op-ed originally appeared on REB's sister platform HRLeader.
Comments powered by CComment