Workplace AI Still Needs a Human Touch
Mon, April 19, 2021

Workplace AI Still Needs a Human Touch

Erik Brown, a senior director at West Monroe Partners, a Chicago-based technology and management consulting firm, believes that humans need to oversee AI / Credits: Matej Kastelic via Shutterstock

 

Artificial intelligence is widely used in the workforce, aiming to lessen the burden of tasks to employees. A recent study conducted by Oracle and Future Workplace discovered that 50% of workers use some form of AI at work – a 32% increase from 2018. Research firm Gartner predicted that 25% of digital workers will use a virtual employee (VEA) every day by 2021, up from less than 2% in 2019.

However, Erik Brown, a senior director at West Monroe Partners, a Chicago-based technology and management consulting firm, believes that humans need to oversee AI. The technology still needs human intervention since it has its own limits. Some of those things that AI-powered systems can offer that need human help include ensuring that employees get the help and resources, using soft skills to defuse and solve situations, and ensuring that outcomes aren’t biased.

“There's all this discussion around all of these jobs being replaced by AI and robots in the future. I think the jobs that are redundant and repetitive for humans are the ones that are going to be replaced, and that's going to allow humans to interact with AI, interact with robots in some cases, and allow them to focus on problems that they need to solve that the human touch has to be a part of,” Brown said. 

Ryan Duguid, the chief evangelist at Bellevue, Washington workflow automation firm Nintex, also stated that just because AI has great benefits, that doesn’t mean that it should be deployed everywhere. According to Fortune, a global leader in business journalism, companies should decide where AI can best work for employees. Brown added that not all AI technologies like chatbots are going to be effective all the time. Thus, knowing their limits can be a great help. 

“They're not going to be effective when you're booking a complex travel itinerary where you need to figure out the different options you have for logistics and timing, schedule a rental car and hotel, and provide credit card, et cetera,” Brown said.