Senior executives increasingly believe that pairing humans alongside machine intelligence will create a more effective, engaged and meritocratic workplace, according to a study from software provider Pegasystems.
The company surveyed 845 senior people in key industry sectors, including financial services, insurance, manufacturing, retail, telecommunications and media, and government, on the increased role artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic automation will play in the workplace of the future.
The findings reveal widespread belief that machine intelligence will work ubiquitously alongside humans over time. In fact, seven out of 10 respondents (69%) believe the term ‘workforce’ will evolve to encapsulate both humans and machine intelligence.
AI-augmented employees are anticipated to generate tangible business returns such as greater efficiency (73% agree) and better customer service (62%).
What’s more, by augmenting their work with machine intelligence, human employees will be empowered with more autonomy and a greater sense of job satisfaction, according to the survey.
Eight out of 10 respondents (78%) said that AI and robotic automation will allow staff to make more informed decisions and lead to a flattening of traditional management hierarchies. A similar proportion (77%) expect AI to help suggest next best actions for most customer service agents within the next five years.
Another potential benefit is a more transparent, meritocratic workplace, with the use of unbiased machine intelligence to analyse employee effectiveness helping to level the playing field.
“AI and automation technologies have generated tremendous hype, but the potential within the enterprise remains largely untapped,” commented Don Schuerman, chief technology officer and vice president of product marketing at Pegasystems. “Organisations must augment their human intelligence with AI across the entire organisation in order to move beyond basic efficiency improvements. By deploying AI and automation with an end-to-end view in mind, businesses can move closer to fulfilling their customer centric vision.”