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Impact of Smart Workplace On New Generation of Workforce

smart workplace

How AI is going to leave many without jobs, is common discussion thread among CXOs today. There is a general fear that many jobs will become redundant or be automated. But the experts working closely with AI have something different to say.

The point is that there is a fourth industrial revolution that is progress, where process automation capabilities and artificial intelligence is bringing in a dynamic change. But that does not mean that people will have nothing to do any longer. As Mohan Sekhar, Senior Managing Director and Lead – Accenture Advanced Technology Centers in India, explains the scenario, “When industrial revolution happened it was said that people will lose their jobs, it actually created more jobs. As businesses evolved more jobs came. With IT revolution it was said that people will lose jobs but when technologies were implemented it created more jobs because again the businesses evolved. They could sell more products because it became much easier with technology. It created more jobs not just within the industry but also created the technology industry, which didn’t even exist. This is again a hue and cry. Certainly some jobs are getting automated but then newer jobs are being created. Albeit, the workplace is getting smarter.”

A report from the IDC states that AI will unleash unprecedented levels of workplace productivity, boost global revenues by $121 billion over the next five years and generate more jobs than it will replace. In fact, AI is being seen as a true enabler and companion of the new age work force. It is able to improve the efficiency of the workforce. According to Ritesh Radhakrishnan, CTO & Co-Founder, Senseforth, “Implementing AI systems will reduce the need for workforce to perform mundane and repetitive jobs and focus on true business problems and creativity. Weaving intelligent Virtual assistant into the workspace will help optimally combine the creativity and ingenuity of humans with the speed and efficiency of computers, to achieve the best results for the businesses.”

So how does the workforce survive? Simply by re-skilling themselves. “Smart office is about improved productivity; it is also about collaboration, and enablement,” says Kalki Yasas, Senior Director – Services, Salesforce. So the company has introduced its learning and enablement tool, Trailhead, recently. This helps employees learn about various modules of Salesforce – from learning platform basics, data management and data modeling, through migrating to Lightning Experience and on developing your own rock star business apps. According to Yasas, that while Trailhead was specifically created for Salesforce, but now its customers can leverage Trailhead and buikd tgheir own content over it to retrain and retain employees. “As long as the organisation makes sure that the employee is learning new things, making more in the new, they are not under any threat. We invest close to billion dollars in learning and enhancing skillsets so that people globally are up-to-date with new technologies and new skills, hone new talents and techniques,” explains Accenture’s Shekhar.

Going forward, expect to see the nature of jobs change rather than the number. The call will be for creative skill sets that man is excellent at and machine will take years to replicate. “Though AI is considered a field for only researchers and software professionals, we have conversation specialists, linguists, psychologists and creative professionals, who come from varying disciplines, working together to bring a bot to life. Therefore, in the larger perspective, though machines are able to perform tasks faster, the onus lies on humans to design, guide, supervise and regulate them. This way, adoption of AI will create more jobs in the skilled and creative sectors than before,” Senseforth’s Radhakrishnan.

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