Victoria Vy Lam, Hiba Khan, Professor Brett Martin, 19 August, 2021
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is progressing rapidly and can respond to human needs efficiently. Yet AI is also considered by some as a threat to replace human workers in future. While that is still a debate, the bigger impact of what we're witnessing today is a solution for increasing productivity, a chance to positively manage a staff, and, ultimately, allowing you to better manage day-to-day business operations. If anything, AI makes business more human by allowing you to take a break and enhance workplace mental health. AI can also enhance and boost human capabilities and productivity rather than substituting them.
How can business combine AI and humans to enhance employee productivity?
Making AI an ally for humans can open up many doors for business particularly in relation to providing productive solutions, meaning more value, sales and profit for your business. So, here are some ways in which AI can boost human productivity:
AI is projected to have a significant impact on marketing strategies and consumer behaviour in the future. With the help of AI, we can automate market segmentation and reach out to target customers in a matter of a few seconds. Marketers can utilise AI-powered tools to discover and rank for hot issues that resonate with customers, as well as to distinguish topic clusters, for example in marketing research and search engine-optimisation (SEO).
Customer service tools
How often do you find a message on your business page, when you’re away? With the use of chat, you can just simply leave a message that you’re away and will get back to your customers soon. This can aid customer patience and allow you to deal with other aspects of business. Furthermore, the positive impact of AI in customer facing applications is evident in the retail industry with self-checkout counters. However, research also suggests that its highly impactful in non-customer facing applications as well. For example, an in store robot which helps scan products for inventory purposes.
Human resource tools
AI provides HR departments an opportunity to improve employee performance and engagement by automating repetitive, low value tasks and freeing up time to focus on more strategic, creative work. For instance, data-backed resources and insights powered by AI allow HR professionals to have timely responses, thus boosting employee engagement. It can also assist in recruiting new candidates. Pymetrics, for example, assesses a candidate's cognitive and emotional traits and compares the results to existing high-performing staff, providing you with suggestions of where a candidate would fit in your organisation. It's been claimed that putting these processes in place can save hiring time by up to 75% and enhance employee retention by up to 50%.
There are now AI-powered tools that book appointments for you and remind you when it’s time for your next appointment such as Calendly. It can now even make appointments and reservations by calling the business. It not only eases the working process but also boosts user productivity by effective task-tracking and time management.
AI-based virtual assistants (Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant) are well known. Many consumers now use such assistants to execute simple and advanced personal activities such as to manage our emails or order groceries. According to research , we gain over 2.5 hours of work time by outsourcing our email handling to a virtual assistant. It can also simply repetitive tasks you do on a habitual, daily basis, saving you time which can be redirected to higher value tasks.
Hospital workers can employ specifically created artificial intelligence solutions to accurately analyse the physiologic difficulties of individual consumers to deliver accurate information about the patient who requires immediate attention. Through this method, the limited resources available at institutions might be used most effectively to achieve the best results, ensuring that they are able to address the specific difficulties resulting in improved overall quality of life and doctor’s time.
Reducing human error
Humans are prone to making mistakes by nature. In the workplace, such errors can be impact productivity. Artificial intelligence has the potential to be a game-changer in this area. By deploying AI technologies in the workplace, we can reduce human mistakes significantly. For example, it can help us with procedural errors where an employee misses a step in a process, or cognitive errors due to workload or stress.
When it comes to productivity, AI can be used to increase productivity, enhancing performance and adding value to organisations. In this digital era, routine, daily activities are likely to become more efficient with the advancement in AI. The value of technological competence will be strengthened while increasing human productivity, which will contribute to businesses success.
Direction for future research
As AI is the future of business, further research is needed in exploring the specific risks and benefits of AI for major industries like healthcare, hospitality, retail and human resources. They may also explore the ethical considerations needed in terms of collecting and saving user’s data and using it as a surveillance for employee performance. Furthermore, future studies can focus on how AI can be used to offer innovative services and tools to magnify the creativity of employees.