Once the subject of science fiction and futurist speculation, artificial intelligence (AI) is here, and it’s already changing the world. Despite the steady stream of conjecture that AI will upend work as we know it and throw millions of people into unemployment, the technology thus far has served as a compliment to human workers, freeing them from repetitive, non-value-added work to focus on more complex problems with a greater impact on business success.
According to research by McKinsey & Company, at least 30% of tasks in 60% of jobs could currently be automated, thus increasing efficiency. For example, cognitive data capture tools can extract data from unstructured documents faster and more accurately than humans can, reducing the need for manual data entry. Filling forms, expense management, and scheduling are all fairly tedious tasks that AI can save humans from having to endure. Communication and productivity tools that leverage AI, such as generative AI software ChatGPT, can streamline frequently repeated communications and optimize email marketing, improving ROI and leaving humans to focus on more creative efforts.
People perform better at their jobs when they’re set up for success, and freeing them from boring, repetitive tasks that don’t deliver a genuine sense of accomplishment seems like a no-brainer. More than three quarters of respondents to an Oracle survey said that AI-assisted work helped their mental health, with nearly a third reporting reduced stress. Businesses can reap these benefits by adding AI-capable tools to their tech stack, empowering their people to work on more important and complex endeavors.
Beyond day-to-day work, AI can also help with the bigger picture. Companies such as Johnson & Johnson are already using AI to assess employee skills and needs, helping identify and reduce skills gaps. Starbucks is using AI to help manage employee schedules, predict staffing needs, and assist with inventory and ordering as well as equipment maintenance.
While work will still be, well, work, it doesn’t have to be boring, unengaging, and unrewarding. Using AI to offload repetitive non-value-added tasks can help teams focus on what matters most to them and boost on-the-job engagement and performance. Far from a tool that will destroy jobs, AI will help enhance them, enriching the lives of workers everywhere.