Artificial intelligence (A.I.) is a set of complex algorithms that enables computers to ‘think’ through and perform a cognitive task in the same way that humans do. Automating decisions previously made by humans could have an exponential impact on improving efficiencies, driving economic growth and solving many of society’s problems today.
“By 2025, the time spent on current tasks at work by humans and machines will be equal.”
World Economic Forum, Future of Work, 2020
In practice it is rare that an individual’s entire role could be automated, but rather a proportion of their duties. Although this can make that individual more productive, as they can spend more time doing arguably more valuable work, this also reduces the number of people across a team needed to fulfill a specific level of workload, meaning that headcounts can be reduced.
Through an effective human capital management strategy, companies should look to re-skill their workforce to lower costs, retain talent and minimise workforce disruption.
A.I. technology promises an exciting future of possibilities in a post-pandemic world but companies, policy makers and wider society need to think proactively about its deployment in order to ensure it is truly sustainable.