Artificial intelligence is a hot topic, with people on one side of the argument admonishing about how it will eliminate human jobs and their opponents praising its potential to revolutionize the workplace. One thing’s for certain, though the technology is relatively new, it doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon. For forward-thinking businesses, the opportunity for early adoption is now. So, what’s the best way to get started with AI? Give these five things a try.
You don’t have to jump in with both feet right out of the gate. In fact, you’re much better off starting small and working your way up. Conduct an audit of all of the repetitive, manual tasks that are currently being performed throughout your organization, prioritize that list in order of business value (i.e. how much time and subsequent money each task is costing) and then automate the first few items. Once you’ve worked out the kinks and feel comfortable, you can start tackling other, more complex business processes and workflows.
Use it as it’s intended
One of the biggest fears about AI is that it will completely replace humans in the workplace. The reality is that yes, some jobs will certainly be eliminated. But the adoption of automation will also bring about new opportunities and create new roles. Furthermore, if you use AI as it was intended, to complement and augment human employees, not only will you gain the benefits of automation, but you’ll also be more successful at getting buy-in and support from your staff.
Invest in education
Any new technology will inevitably come with a knowledge gap. By taking the initiative to educate yourself and your employees, you’ll position your organization several steps ahead of the game. That’s always a good thing, particularly in industries that are saturated and highly competitive. The good news is that for most, highly technical knowledge isn’t necessary, as long as there is enough understanding to recognize the potential implications of adopting AI technology. With this understanding, leaders can consistently evaluate business operations to identify areas where AI could deliver tangible benefits.
Create new roles around AI
Some opponents of AI claim the technology will have the biggest impact on engineers and other high-level tech professionals. To the contrary, expert studies and industry trends indicate that while these advances will result in some job losses in the early stages, things will ultimately balance out in the long-term through new jobs and emerging fields. For instance, automation will replace lower-level tasks, such as data analysis, but those AI systems will still require monitoring and management. To stay relevant, business leaders should begin creating opportunities to complement this new technological direction.
Preserve the human element
As artificial intelligence and machine learning technology continue to evolve, business leaders should strive to strike a balance between automation and the lingering importance of the human touch. While automating everything might seem like the best course of action, in some fields emotional availability is still critical to success. For instance, HR and high-level customer relations require a certain degree of cognition that is difficult to automate. While AI can add value to these departments, it will never fully replace them (at least not in the foreseeable future).
Despite the remaining uncertainty surrounding AI, the one clear takeaway is that this technology will continue to evolve and become more prevalent in our daily lives. Countless case studies have demonstrated the potential and sustainability of artificial intelligence and automation, particularly in the workplace. As such, business leaders would be wise to continue discovering, creating and innovating in order to become pioneers of AI implementation.