Future of Work: Artificial Intelligence or Human Intelligence?

As chatbots become increasingly sophisticated, how can we even know if we are talking to a real person? Here is a free joke for Labor Day: when you ask, “What is love?”, if the person you are talking to does not reply “Baby don’t hurt me”, then it is definitely a bot.

Joke aside; generative AI is dominating the technology landscape with so many discussions on the massive potential that it can bring to how we live, work and play. We rely on technology at work; we rely on technology to maintain relationships with the people we love and care about, we use technology for learning and entertainment every day.

A few years ago, I wrote an article about the fears that robots will take our jobs. At that time, it was predicted that jobs that demanded human factors and solid analytical skills, such as teachers, anthropologists or graphic designers, and engineers, had a pretty low chance (from 1%-8%) of being replaced. Analysts like myself had a 6% chance of being replaced by robots. On the other hand, low-skilled jobs such as housekeepers and cleaners faced the whopping prospect of being replaced by automation as their risk level came in at 69%. The risk was also very high for taxi drivers at 89%, as self-driving vehicles and flying taxis have become a reality.

Human Intelligence + Artificial Intelligence = Future of Work

Today we are having similar conversations around generative AI and if it will take over creative and analytical jobs. AI and automation applications have already been highly impactful in our lives. Many administrative, process-focused, and mundane tasks have been automated, leaving more time for workers to focus on upskilling, innovation, and professional development. Technology keeps progressing and we are reaping the benefits to improve our lives. My opinion remains the same, there is no “either/or” when thinking about technology and humans – we will need a combination of both Artificial Intelligence and Human Intelligence. Data from our Future of Work Global Survey shows that quite a few leaders share similar opinions, with only 16% believing that positions will be eliminated with more automation technologies.

Realizing Digital Transformation Depends on Human Skills

Digital transformation and automation can only happen with the necessary skills to execute. IDC data also shows that the labor market is in high demand for skills. 55% of organizations in Asia Pacific experienced more employees quitting their jobs last year, contributing to the shortage, which has caused 37% of organizations to delay tech initiatives and 36% to change the direction of tech initiatives. Moreover, 53% of organizations in AP are taking 3-4 months longer compared to a year ago to fill technology roles. Significant consequences of the skills shortage are increased workload on remaining employees, increased security risks, reduced customer satisfaction, and loss of critical knowledge.

The winners of the IDC Asia/Pacific of Future of Work Awards 2022 showcase how technologies are complementing employees in their day-to-day tasks and inspire even broader applications across different industries. For example, China Southern Airlines had saved tens of thousands of hours for their employees with the Digital Employee Center; while HKT Limited made it safer for its workers in the field by operating drones in hazardous areas.

What sets us apart from machines are the qualities that machines cannot possess – emotions, empathy, creativity, judgment, and the ability to envision the future, to name a few. Now back to the silly joke at the beginning of this blogpost; most of the time we need other humans to appreciate a bit of humor and cheekiness; who would want to make jokes with AI?

Happy Labor Day!

Source: Enterprise Automation to Mitigate the Digital Skills Shortage, Doc # AP50344823
Winners’ Tales: Getting Ready for the Future of Work, Doc # AP50339023


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