AI and the Future of the Workplace

How AI can work with a new generation of educated workers rather than replace them.

By Mohammed Amin
Mohammed Amin, Senior Vice President, Dell EMC, Middle East Turkey and Africa. Dell EMC

Organizations are increasingly looking to incorporate new technologies and Artificial Intelligence (AI) for increased operational efficiency and a competitive advantage. But, the workforce is concerned about the changes AI will bring for their jobs. This dilemma is not new. The reality is that it has been a serious concern for many jobs for the last two decades.

Digital technology, and AI for that matter, has been reinventing the overall work experience for all levels of professionals, including CEOs and IT leaders, and will continue to revolutionize the workplace for as long as we live. The difference is that most experts are optimistic about AI and believe that it can work with the new generation of workers, rather than replace them.

Will Jobs Disappear?

No! In fact, Dell EMC strongly supports the notion that AI will create more jobs than ever before. At our recent Dell Technologies World Conference in Las Vegas, Danny Cobb, vice president of Global Technology Strategy said “AI is going to become an active member of every team, every boardroom, every corporate activity, to bring information and analysis. It will empower employees to be more effective in their work lives”. Our vision for AI is to replace monotonous and repetitive administrative tasks. Individuals should use this opportunity to develop themselves and learn new skills to be able to carry out more complex tasks and stay relevant in the modern workplace.

Dell Technologies supports this transition with systems like Dell Precision workstations. These systems have the power to deploy and manage cognitive technology platforms, including Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and Deep Learning (DL), organizations will have the ability to innovate in an affordable and accessible manner. And that’s not forgetting their employees who will have the critical resources available to champion their own growth and career success stories.

AI Is Not A Tool To Replace The Workforce But Rather A Means To Enhance It.

According to John Battelle, editor-in-chief of NewCo, A lot of people consider AI a threat because they don’t understand it yet. As machines take over automated jobs, it will give us time to focus on teaching and taking care of other humans”. This key insight clearly gives rise to the need for more human involvement in the future workplace, especially in the areas of creativity, teaching, and compassionate services. Yes, the modes of delivery for these roles may change, but the demand for jobs that require uniquely human traits will grow.

If we look at the field of autonomous vehicles we see that AI is capable of doing many great things but in some instances we see that humans are required to understand certain complex situations, particularly ones involving human behavior. For example a pedestrian can choose to stand in front of an autonomous car for an extended period of time and disrupt the AI’s pathway, but a a driver who understands the situation can choose an alternate route and bypass the obstacle. This will apply to most situations where AI and humans work hand in hand.

Businesses and HR leaders must anticipate and start planning for the future of work by making their organizations more collaborative, open, and creative for everyone. The types of jobs companies will need to fill are quickly changing. Logistics personnel, assembly workers, middlemen, and brokers may have to consider new career paths with roles and opportunities that are yet to exist. Dell Technologies strongly support developing skills through different initiatives in the region like FabLab on Wheels in Egypt and Dell EMC’s Envision the Future contest for university graduates in Turkey, the Middle East, and Africa.

Leading The Next Generation Workforce.

While the exact effects of Artificial Intelligence on work are being realized, we can all agree on one thing: it’s disruptive. AI and robotics are likely to have a major impact on work and productivity over the next decade. How we respond and engage with these changes is up to us.

Mohammed Amin


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