Humans and machines have been working together for more than a century. It’s not a new concept. In fact, since the first machine was invented, people have been creating more advanced machines for decades. And over the last 30 years, the advancements have been remarkable.
Just look at the smartphone. It used to take five or six different “machines” to accomplish what can now be done in the palm of your hand with just one. And all it requires is just a few clicks and swipes from your fingertips.
Machine advancement has been incredible during the last decade. But if you look at what’s on the tech horizon, smartphones are just scratching the surface. In fact, thanks to the latest discoveries and advancements with artificial intelligence (AI), the possibilities are endless. Humans and machines are already working together in incredible ways.
What Is Artificial Intelligence?
So what is artificial intelligence? According to techopedia.com, AI is an area of computer science that emphasizes the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans. Some of the activities computers with artificial intelligence are designed for include:
- Speech recognition
In a nutshell, AI makes it possible for machines to actually learn from experience, and perform human-like tasks. Scientists and software programmers have made great strides in AI. Some of the most common examples of AI today are chess-playing computers, digital voice assistants, and self-driving cars.
However, there is still much to be learned about AI. It’s extremely difficult to teach a computer to carry on meaningful conversations or understand and feel the way humans do. Scientists have been successful at teaching machines how to perform certain, specific tasks. But no matter how well a self-driving car performs in road tests, it still couldn’t carry on an intelligent conversation with you during the commute.
Could AI Be Dangerous?
That being said, a lot has been made of artificial intelligence and its capabilities. Some tech experts expect AI to overtake the world (not literally, of course) and eventually have a hand in everything we do. But despite its amazing potential, there are others who fear the possible repercussions of teaching supercomputers and/or robots how to do so many things.
Taking over the world doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibility in some tech circles. Some can even envision an army of super-intelligent robots or machines turning on humans and essentially wiping them out. Others fear that AI could fall into the wrong hands and be used for evil purposes by evil people. And others simply worry it could cost millions of workers their jobs.
But despite the doomsday theories, most just see AI as a way to enhance the way we do things and make our lives better. That includes the workplace. Hundreds of companies are working on AI advancements for all walks of life.
Currently, companies are using artificial intelligence in numerous industries, including medical, industrial, machinery, technology, entertainment, and many more.
So how will humans and machines work together in the future? Will AI make things better or worse?
The Positive Effects of Artificial Intelligence
It’s hard to predict exactly. No one can say with 100 percent certainty how artificial intelligence will continue to advance or what effects it will have on life, as we know it. No one knows the level of intelligence machines could actually reach. But the reality is AI is already improving several aspects of life, including in the workplace.
According to an article in the Harvard Business Review, AI is already “becoming good at many ‘human’ jobs—diagnosing disease, translating languages, providing customer service—and it’s improving fast.” But that doesn’t mean it will replace humans. It will change how work is done but it’s designed to enhance human capabilities and not replace them.
These are just some of the ways machines and humans will be working together in 2019…and beyond.
- Humans Will Train Machines – humans will continue to teach machines to perform tasks, explain the outcomes, and maintain the responsible use of machines. In order for machines to learn new tasks, humans must teach them. Humans also need to track and explain the outcomes for continued learning and better performance. And they must ensure that AI systems work properly and safely to protect humans.
- Machines Will Help Humans – as humans teach machines, they’ll continue to help us in numerous ways, including enhancing our strengths, extending our physical capabilities and helping us improve interaction with employees and customers. Humans and machines will be able to interact and communicate in more effective ways. AI will also enhance our decision-making and analytical abilities. Additionally, with their sophisticated sensors, motors, and actuators, AI-enabled machines will recognize objects and people and safely work side-by-side with humans in multiple work environments.
- Improved Decision Making – artificial intelligence also helps us make better decisions. AI provides valuable information and guidance to help us better understand and analyze data and make more informed and proven decisions.
- Recruiting Will Continue to Change – according to HR Technologist, “HR teams, recruiters, and staffing managers are using AI technology and AI-based products to improve hiring.” Some companies use AI to assist their recruiting teams in creating more compelling job postings. Other companies use AI to match potential candidates with open positions.
- Improving the Onboarding and Training Process – another effective use of AI is streamlining the new-hire process. New AI tools will help employees improve their abilities to complete tasks and teach then greater efficiency.
- They Compliment Each Other’s Strengths – when you combine the strengths of AI and humans you can accomplish a lot more. The speed, quantitative abilities, and scalability of AI paired with human attributes such as leadership, social skills, creativity and teamwork lead to better results.
- Enhancing Data Analytics – data analysis is huge in today’s tech-driven world. AI will help improve this process by properly sifting through millions of signals and identifying key points, and doing it much faster than humans. Humans can then use this information to improve systems.
- Improving Day-to-Day Productivity – in 2019, AI will continue to help improve employee productivity. Menial tasks can be eliminated, or greatly reduced, when humans use AI tools to cut back on traditional workplace practices. Employers can monitor production levels and pinpoint key factors slowing employees down.
- Humans Are Still in Control – remember AI still works best when the human element is involved. AI is not intended to replace humans in the workplace, but rather enhance their performance. But in order for this to happen, humans will have to be in charge of AI machines and what they do. It will require close interaction and continual monitoring. But together humans and AI can accomplish great things in 2019.
Artificial Intelligence Is Here to Stay
Ultimately AI has already become part of life and it seems certain it will continue to gain momentum in the workplace. But you don’t have to fear AI. When combined with human intelligence, reasoning, and feeling AI is likely to become a major tool for advancing many positive causes.
How is artificial intelligence affecting your workplace? Have you lost some of your duties to AI? Do you think AI will eventually take over your job? Or maybe AI is helping you get more done. Use the comment section below to tell us how you feel about artificial intelligence in the workplace and what trends you’ve seen.