Written by

Bernard Marr

Bernard Marr is a world-renowned futurist, influencer and thought leader in the fields of business and technology, with a passion for using technology for the good of humanity. He is a best-selling author of 20 books, writes a regular column for Forbes and advises and coaches many of the world’s best-known organisations. He has over 2 million social media followers, 1 million newsletter subscribers and was ranked by LinkedIn as one of the top 5 business influencers in the world and the No 1 influencer in the UK.

Bernard’s latest book is ‘Business Trends in Practice: The 25+ Trends That Are Redefining Organisations’

View Latest Book

Follow Me

Bernard Marr ist ein weltbekannter Futurist, Influencer und Vordenker in den Bereichen Wirtschaft und Technologie mit einer Leidenschaft für den Einsatz von Technologie zum Wohle der Menschheit. Er ist Bestsellerautor von 20 Büchern, schreibt eine regelmäßige Kolumne für Forbes und berät und coacht viele der weltweit bekanntesten Organisationen. Er hat über 2 Millionen Social-Media-Follower, 1 Million Newsletter-Abonnenten und wurde von LinkedIn als einer der Top-5-Business-Influencer der Welt und von Xing als Top Mind 2021 ausgezeichnet.

Bernards neueste Bücher sind ‘Künstliche Intelligenz im Unternehmen: Innovative Anwendungen in 50 Erfolgreichen Unternehmen’

View Latest Book

Follow Me

Artificial Intelligence In The Workplace: How AI Is Transforming Your Employee Experience

2 July 2021

Artificial intelligence (AI) is quickly changing just about every aspect of how we live our lives, and our working lives certainly aren’t exempt from this.

Soon, even those of us who don’t happen to work for technology companies (although as every company moves towards becoming a tech company, that will be increasingly few of us) will find AI-enabled machines increasingly present as we go about our day-to-day activities.

From how we are recruited and on-boarded to how we go about on-the-job training, personal development and eventually passing on our skills and experience to those who follow in our footsteps, AI technology will play an increasingly prominent role.

Ere’s an overview of some of the recent advances made in businesses that are currently on the cutting-edge of the AI revolution, and are likely to be increasingly adopted by others seeking to capitalise on the arrival of smart machines.

Recruitment and onboarding

Before we even set foot in a new workplace, it could soon be a fact that AI-enabled machines have played their part in ensuring we’re the right person for the job.

AI pre-screening of candidates before inviting the most suitable in for interviews is an increasingly common practise at large companies which make thousands of hires each year, and sometimes attract millions of applicants.

Pymetricsprovides tools which use a series of “games” based on principles of neuroscience to assess candidates before they are asked in for an interview. It works by assessing cognitive and emotional features of the candidate, while specifically avoiding demographic biases based on their gender, socioeconomic status, or race. This is done by matching candidates’ performance against that of existing employees who have succeeded in the roles that are being recruited for. If it finds that they may not be a particularly good fit for that role, it might recognise another role they would be suitable for and recommend they instead apply for that one.

Another company providing these services is Montage, which claims that 100 of the Fortune 500 companies have used their AI-driven interviewing tool. It enables businesses to carry out on-demand text interviewing, automated scheduling, and reduce the impact of unconscious biases on the recruitment process. 

When it comes to onboarding, AI-enabled chatbots are the current tool of choice, for helping new hires settle into their roles and get to grips with the various facets of the organisations they’ve joined.

Multinational consumer goods manufacturer Unilever uses a chatbot called Unabot, that employs natural language processing(NLP) to answer employees’ questions in plain, human language. Advice is available on everything from where they can catch a shuttle bus to the office in the morning, to how to deal with HR and payroll issues.

On-the-job training

Of course, learning doesn’t end once you’ve settled into your role, and AI technology will also play a part in ongoing training for most employees in the future.

It will also assist with the transfer of skills from one generation to the next – as employees move on to other companies or retire, it can help to ensure that they can leave behind the valuable experience they’ve gained for others to benefit from, as well as take it with them.

Engineering giant Honeywell has developed tools which utilise augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) along with AI, to capture the experience of work and extract “lessons” from it which can be passed on to newer hires.

Employees wear AR headsets while carrying out their daily tasks. These capture a record of everything the engineer does, using image recognition technology, which can be played back, allowing trainees or new hires to experience the role through VR.

Information from the video imagery is also being used to build AR tools which provide real-time feedback while engineers carry out their job – alerting them to dangers or reminding them to carry out routine tasks when they are in a particular place or looking at a particular object.

Augmented workforce

One of the reasons that the subject of AI in the workplace makes some people uncomfortable is because it is often thought of as something that will replace humans and lead to job losses.

However, when it comes to AI integration today, the keyword is very much “augmentation” – the idea that AI machines will help us do our jobs more efficiently, rather than replace us. A key idea is that they will take over the mundane aspects of our role, leaving us free to do what humans do best – tasks which require creativity and human-to-human interaction.

Just as employees have become familiar with tools like email and messaging apps, tools such as those provided by PeopleDoc or Betterworks will play an increasingly large part in the day-to-day workplace experience.

These are tools which can monitor workflows and processes and make intelligent suggestions about how things could be done more effectively or efficiently. Often this is referred to as robotic process automation (RPA).

These tools will learn to carry out repetitive tasks such as arranging meetings or managing a diary. They will also recognise when employees are having difficulty or spending too long on particular problems, and be ready to step in to either assist or if the job is beyond something a bot is capable of doing itself, suggest where human help can be found.

Surveillance in the workplace

Of course, there’s a potential dark side to this encroachment of AI into the workplace that’s likely to leave some employees feeling distinctly uncomfortable.

According to a Gartner survey, more than 50% of companies with a turnover above $750 million use digital data-gathering tools to monitor employee activities and performance. This includes analysing the content of emails to determine employee satisfaction and engagement levels. Some companies are known to be using tracking devices to monitor the frequency of bathroom breaks, as well as audio analytics to determine stress levels in voices when staff speak to each other in the office.

Technology even exists to enable employers to track their staff sleeping and exercise habits. Video game publisher Blizzard Activision recently unveiled plans to offer incentives to staff who let them track their health through Fitbit devices and other specialised apps. The idea is to use aggregated, anonymized data to identify areas where the health of the workforce as a whole can be improved. However, it’s clear to see that being monitored in this way might not sit particularly well with everyone.

Workplace analytics specialists Humanyzeuse staff email and instant messaging data, along with microphone-equipped name badges, to gather data on employee interactions. While some may consider this potentially intrusive, the company says that this can help to protect employees from bullying or sexual harassment in the workplace.

Workplace Robots

Physical robots capable of autonomous movement are becoming commonplace in manufacturing and warehousing installations, and are likely to be a feature of many other workplaces in the near future.

Mobility experts Segway have created a delivery robot which can navigate through workplace corridors to make deliveries directly to the desk. Meanwhile, security robots such as those being developed by Gamma 2 could soon be a common site, ensuring commercial properties are safe from trespassers.

Racing for a space in the office car park could also become a thing of the past if solutions developed by providers such as ParkPlus become commonplace. Their robotic parking assistants may not match our traditional idea of how a robot should look, but consist of automated “shuttle units” capable of moving vehicles into parking bays which would be too small for humans to manually park in – meaning more vehicles can fit into a smaller space.


Business Trends In Practice | Bernard Marr
Business Trends In Practice | Bernard Marr

Related Articles

The Five Biggest Healthcare Tech Trends In 2022 | Bernard Marr

The Five Biggest Healthcare Tech Trends In 2022

Wherever we look in the healthcare industry, we can find new technology being used to fight illness, develop new vaccines and medicines, and help people to live healthier lives[...]

The 10 Tech Trends That Will Transform Our World | Bernard Marr

The 10 Tech Trends That Will Transform Our World

What makes the fourth industrial revolution so different from previous industrial revolutions is the convergence and interaction between multiple technology trends at once. In thi[...]

The 5 Biggest Connected And Autonomous Vehicle Trends In 2022

Autonomous driving promises a future where road traffic accidents and speeding tickets are no longer a feature of life.[...]

The Five Biggest Cyber Security Trends In 2022

The changed world we’ve found ourselves living in since the global pandemic struck in 2020 has been particularly helpful to cybercriminals.[...]

The Five Biggest Space Technology Trends For 2022

The past decade has seen a resurgence of interest in space travel and the technological innovation driving it.[...]

The 5 Biggest Biotech Trends In 2022

Steve Jobs once said that the biggest innovations in the 21st century would be at the intersection of biology and technology.[...]

Stay up-to-date

  • Get updates straight to your inbox
  • Join my 1 million newsletter subscribers
  • Never miss any new content

Social Media

0
Followers
0
Likes
0
Followers
0
Subscribers
0
Followers
0
Subscribers
0
Followers
0
Readers

Podcasts

View Podcasts