Will AI destroy the future of work?

artificial intelligenceAs a society, we have always resisted and questioned any form of change at first.

We refused to believe that the Earth wasn’t flat, and it percolated down to us rejecting modern advancements in technology fearing societal changes or unemployment. At every juncture, we learnt one thing: Change is inevitable and in most cases, it brings significant progress to the world we live in.

Coined as the 4th Industrial Revolution by the World Economic Forum, the present moment has come a long way from machines to rapid digitization and ultimately, the age of the knowledge worker.

Contrary to popular belief, this rapid shift in the future of work will not be the end of the road for the human workforce. We are now observing a shift in requirements, concerning the human workforce. Gone are the days when jobs required a worker to just pick up an object and leave it elsewhere on the factory floor.

In the case of Call Centres, an increasing number of repetitive queries are being handled by AI. Book-keeping, Manufacturing QnC and something even as complex as Risk Assessment has all been automated with the help of AI.

What does this mean for us and the future of work? We must bear in mind that in the aforementioned cases, all the AI does is remove repetitive and mundane tasks from an employee's scope of work. By doing so, employees are pushed to utilise their time and efforts for thinking, creating and innovating.

However, you don't have to rest your blind faith in me. Enterprise Bot provides AI-powered solutions that enable businesses to respond to customer queries in real-time. Over 60% of the inbound queries that flow into a contact centre are handled by our AI virtual assistant. While this automation exercise tends to often cause discomfort amongst the workforce and result in struggles between the workers and a company's automation goals, the point-of-view gradually evolves.

It was observed that over the course of three months, employees began to warm up to the idea as it helped them do away with repetitive tasks and utilise their time for more pressing demands. Employee morale has surged, as they are now able to do much more than just initiate a password reset or process a payment refund. By being able to create a bigger impact in the workplace, employees have managed to grow and transition to elevated roles. The Bots are capable of training themselves without human intervention, which empowers employees to think outside of the box as opposed to doing the same thing they've done for 20 straight years and expect different results.

In the interest of moving forward, let's consider another hypothetical situation. Imagine yourself as a graduate, fresh out of college, who managed to land a job with an organisation. On joining, you need to be onboarded and trained. However, you haven't been given all the right tools and access codes yet. Your mail to the HR department has gone unanswered, as the executive is busy with other things. Your inbox is flooded with dozens of training manuals or videos and you are expected to be up to speed by the end of the month during the team Zoom call.

For organisations looking to push the boundaries of a favourable employee experience, the situation looks very different. EVA (Employee Virtual Assistant) is engineered to recognise you as a new employee and initiate the next few steps automatically. Skills are gauged and tools are provided before you even clock in on 'Day 1'. Furthermore, virtual coffee sessions are embedded into your and your teammates' calendars to help break the ice. EVA also functions as an intelligent virtual HR, which answers queries and guides you to the right person within the organisation in times of need.

Just like every major industrial transformation, as in the case of Henry Ford creating the first assembly line to manufacture automobiles or NASA placing the Hubble telescope in space, it all boils down to one simple fact: Placing the right technology and tools in the hands of your employees for efficiency and improved output.

Hence, it's safe to say that I'm excited about the future that awaits us all. By being able to excel in our work and focus on areas that help us make a difference, we can imagine a world where we no longer have to compile those same excel sheets constantly or complete the same task day-in-and-day-out. Instead, with Hyper-automation (AI-powered automation), we can envision a dynamic work environment that helps us open up new paradigms of innovation and success.

About the author

Pranay Jain is the co-founder and CEO of Enterprise Bot. Originally from Pune, India, he studied business at Bentley University in the United States and developed a strong interest in information technology during his internship. His work with AI caught British multinational Barclays’ attention, and the bank invited him and his team, his now-wife and Enterprise Bot Co-founder Ravina Mutha and Co-founder Sandeep Jayasankar to a hackathon in Mumbai which would task them with the job of creating an effective chatbot for the bank. From there, he continued to grow his business and in order to expand into Europe, he joined F10 in Switzerland.

While the original plan had been to spend just five weeks in Switzerland, Pranay decided to relocate to Zurich and target European Union clients.

Pranay approaches Enterprise Bot’s AI software from the perspective of an outsider. Because he doesn’t code, he aims to make sure that the technology they provide is user-friendly for business clients who are unfamiliar with the most technical aspects of IT - “no-code” and “low-code” simplification. His outlook on simplifying processes is what has made Enterprise Bot’s software approachable and appealing to business clients.


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