Artificial Intelligence is rapidly changing management roles
Even though we all know that the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being felt across the globe in every industry and job sector, some people look at its positive aspects, while others dwell on the negative.
Several studies have pointed out some harsh realities. These include that 25% of all jobs in the U.S. are going to change remarkably or become obsolete due to automation. In one of these studies, it was claimed that women are the majority of employees with jobs at risk at 58%. We therefore have a responsibility to put people back at the center of our focus and to allay legitimate concerns. You only have to look at research from Juniper in regards to savings, to understand why adoption is so swift.
The relationship between people and AI technology:
However, in the latest global study across 10 countries found that out of the 8,270 people that it included, two-thirds were optimistic, appreciative, and thrilled about the possibilities offered by AI and robot technologies. The people included in the study held various positions within their companies and included employees, HR leaders, and managers. One-quarter of the people surveyed expressed that their relationship with the new technologies in their office was gratifying and that they loved how their lives were made easier and tasks more efficient.
Trust increases every year:
Initially, we saw a major leap when consumers and industries realized that card fraud is reduced thanks to clever AI bots. Now, year after year research is showing that people trust these new technologies even more. Last year, the majority of workers agreed that they would trust orders from a robot, while this year, two-thirds said that they would trust them more than orders from a manager. Over half of those surveyed this year have actually already by-passed their manager to got advice from a robot. This was because they believed that the information that they would get from AI would be more unbiased. In the business world, many decision-making tasks can now be better handled by AI, eliminating the need for employees to consult with managers. Well, without pointing out the obvious, senior management will also admit that their tax bills are slashed due to lower payroll taxes in AI-driven offices.
Since many of the administrative tasks that were previously part of the decision-making processors required by managers are now performed by AI, managers are going to need to evolve their skills. Soft skills are now going to be more valuable than the hard skills previously considered essential. The researchers found that those surveyed felt that managers were better at coaching, showing empathy and creating a work culture, whereas robots were better at maintaining work schedules, budget management, and problem-solving.
Interestingly, the 2019 Oracle and Future Workplace survey showed that the highest proportion of respondents who believe that robots will replace their managers were in India with 90%, while the countries where the most respondents believe that it’s possible are in Asia. The percentages for Europe, Australia/New Zealand and the U.S. were relatively lower with Australia/ New Zealand being the highest among them at 59%.
As managers are released from performing their traditional hard roles, they can now focus on relationship building among themselves and their teams which in turn will be able to impact the direction which they all need to concentrate on.
Companies that are already using AI to their advantage include American Express and the Hilton Group where they are deployed to carry out tasks like deciding which product suits a customer best, to better HR management for employees and in the case of the Hilton, to even offer guests a better experience.
Since the job of the manager is not about to become obsolete, they will have to polish up on their new skills so that they can assist and grow the process where robots and humans will be able to work side by side productively.
RPA is changing the game completely:
One of the most positive developments for managers is that administrative tasks that now take up so much of their day will decrease and they can focus on creative thinking, data analysis and strategy development. Managers know the organization and culture of their companies’ best and this can be utilized together with their empathy and ethical abilities to strengthen all areas within their department. Creativity will be needed on their part, but managers will also need to have the ability to draw out the creativity of others. With RPA integrated into the AI and chatbot ecosystem, exactly in the way we do it at SnatchBot, office automation is becoming a reality for governments and the private sector alike.
Humans and soft skills: We still need it!
AI may be cheaper, more efficient and unbiased. Off course the human element of social skills required for better collaboration, coaching and networking will always play a role. This is where managers and their soft skills are about to ensure that with the help of AI, a business can continue to effectively serve its brand and its consumers in order to maintain growth.
Suggested resources by Avi Benezra for tech professionals: