Artificial intelligence: it’s being lauded as the next big business trend, and rightfully so. We’re at the beginning of a major work revolution, and the way we react and adopt now will set the tone for things to come. From chatbots to job application filtering software, we examine how AI is already changing the nature of business.
Chatbots Are Here to Stay
Last year’s Facebook F8 developer conference unveiled chatbots for the Messenger app, and since then, much has been made of their capabilities (or lack thereof). While businesses continue to experiment with this technology, recent reports indicate that overall, only 30% of requests could be completed by bots without some level of human involvement.
Still, chatbots are definitely not going anywhere. According to a study by Ubisend, over 50% of those surveyed believe that companies should be available 24/7 for customer service questions, and 80.7% would prefer to talk to a company via an online chat service than via SMS. This presents a huge opportunity for chatbot technology to assist in automating some of those simpler customer queries, and provide the instantaneous, immediate assistance that consumers expect.
Tech to Hire, Train, and Monitor
HR represents another area where AI stands to make lives easier. Software such as SAP’s Resume Matching technology allows computers to comb through job applications to pick the best candidate for a position. Once an individual is hired, chatbots like Jane can help guide them through their available benefits, and managers are free to see to more important tasks. There are even services like Vibe that monitor Slack conversations to understand morale amongst teams.
Sounds great, right? Not quite – there’s a dark side to all this data. AI can develop its own set of biases based on information it sees repeatedly in job applications, leading to a lack of diversity amongst its top candidate choices. And employee monitoring software presents privacy concerns of its own. Will employees react differently if they know that every message sent could come with potential negative consequences? One could argue that fostering a culture of fear and suspicion has the opposite effect on productivity and morale.
In order to pave the way for a harmonious AI-human relationship, businesses must think critically about the role these machines play in their company and outline standards to respect employee privacy. The AI revolution is here, and it’s up to humans to shape it.