As the implementation of artificial intelligence is on the rise in the United States, education is becoming more vital than ever. Aircall’s Chief Technology & Product Officer and co-founder, Pierre-Baptiste Béchudescribes the impact of AI on the future of work and the steps we can take now to prepare for it.
Artificial intelligence has been at the center of the news cycle in recent months, raising questions such as: is it ethical? Was it pushed too far or too fast? What about the human element?
Despite these concerns, the ongoing AI race between big tech companies continues to escalate with a steady stream of AI updates from the world’s biggest companies as they compete to see who dominate the space. So much so that a group of artificial intelligence experts called for a six-month pause in the development of more powerful systems than recently launched AI chatbots such as ChatGPT and Google Bard.
While these tools have benefits, some feel we’ve pushed technology too far and are getting closer to eliminating human involvement in the workplace. In fact, recent research found that 47% of employees in the United States fear AI will replace them and 59% fear AI will evolve too quickly, showing that we don’t need pause in AI development; we need an acceleration of education and training.
Despite concerns, artificial intelligence has the potential to transform the modern workplace and ease the pressure of a dispersed and burnt-out workforce, especially customer-facing teams for whom burnout professional is a major challenge. If deployed in a safe and ethical manner, it is a tool we can use to make life easier for the workforce, shorten cycle times and reduce the effort needed by workers. Employees’ fears must be turned into opportunities by ensuring that they will not be downgraded by the presence of artificial intelligence, but by its absence. The majority of workers in the United States expect AI to deliver value across the board, and with the proper training needed, 73% of employees believe it will lead to better sales performance and better performance. revenue growth.
The Great Disturbance
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country in 2020, the typical work environment as we knew it changed for good.
Remote and hybrid shifts became the new norm as workers transitioned from their daily commute to the office to working from home. Jobs have been suddenly lost due to shutdowns and shortages that have occurred in supply chains as international trade has come to a standstill. The situation was so severe that supply chain disruptions saw a 67% increase in 2020, with some sectors feeling the impact of this disruption even more. Industries were suffering everywhere.
At the same time, the number of companies switching to remote working has continued to increase, leading to increased demand for employees and rapidly expanding pools of job seekers, regardless of geographic boundaries. Since then, work-life balance has become a number one priority for job seekers, with 76% of millennials saying they would forgo a salary for more flexibility.
While companies are able to reap a number of benefits from remote and distributed teams, such as having a globally diverse workforce, managing a distributed workforce has its own challenges. Being able to communicate effectively while dispersed across different time zones, for example, is a complexity that leads to increased stress for employees and customers if they feel they are not well connected.
This disconnect is proving detrimental to the customer-facing teams currently on the front line. Today, 67% of customers want not only quick responses, but also to feel heard and valued, driving increased demand for highly personalized and qualified communications. With a workforce more divided than ever before, effective and reliable communication is vital for business growth and survival.
As uncertainty persists in the economy, AI will be a major growth driver for businesses. This will help eliminate the time customer-facing teams spend on administrative tasks, leaving increased bandwidth to focus on qualitative client and customer relationships.
Democratize access to artificial intelligence
Small and medium-sized businesses are uniquely positioned to reap the benefits of an AI-powered workplace. Unfortunately, despite being the backbone of our economy, with small businesses alone accounting for 44% of US economic activity, there is generally a lack of discussion about how the adoption of AI has the same potential to transform the workforce of SMEs, compared to technology. giants today.
For example, customer-facing teams in SMBs are particularly vulnerable to increased demand and customer expectations as the world remains distributed. These teams also often spend a lot of time on tedious and mundane tasks that could be easily automated with an AI solution, giving them more time to build deeper connections with their customers. At the same time, however, SMBs face unique barriers to implementing AI that are not seen by their larger counterparts. For example, 57% of US SMBs lack the technology infrastructure and skills to effectively implement AI.
As this concern trickles down to the workforce and access to the beneficial effects of AI is limited, employees need to understand that AI is there to act as a partner in human interactions and not as a replacement. AI has the potential to revolutionize workplace empowerment by reducing time spent on repetitive and time-consuming tasks, allowing employees to focus on higher value activities. Implementing AI is a major win for SMBs right now, as it keeps them agile and productive, while sending a clear signal to employees: we trust you and want you to give yourself the necessary tools. to succeed.
66% of U.S. SMBs confirmed they would invest in AI over the next 12 months, confirming that as progress continues, more businesses of all sizes will start turning to AI. artificial intelligence to empower the modern workforce.
But before you can successfully maximize the potential of AI tools, it’s important to ask questions and learn about the technology you plan to implement. A total of 61% of employees in the United States believe there is a lack of understanding of what AI can do, stressing that education will be key to success and will help companies make full use of the technology they have. have. Employees should receive training on AI at every stage of its journey. Not only will this make implementation smoother, but it will also allow employees to use AI as an asset, instead of being afraid.
Next, organizations will then need to identify where within their business AI would be most effective and how to deploy it safely and ethically. By determining this pre-implementation, companies will be able to eliminate the guessing game that often accompanies the implementation of new technology.
Over the past few years, businesses have faced a host of challenges ranging from economic headwinds to labor shortages, and for many, artificial intelligence will be used as a tool to help navigate those winds. opposites and stay on the path to growth. While the future of work is uncertain, one thing we know for sure is that integrating AI will be imperative to keeping up with the competition and staying ahead of the game, regardless of industry.
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Written by Pierre-Baptiste Béchu, Chief Technology & Product Officer and co-founder, Aircall
Pierre-Baptiste joined Aircall as a co-founder in 2014, building from scratch the first version of the solution’s backend and infrastructure. Under his leadership, the team deploys Aircall services worldwide with a focus on reliability, voice quality and security. Pierre-Baptiste holds an engineering degree from the Ecole Centrale de Lyon and a master’s degree in industrial and organizational psychology from the Lumière Lyon 2 University.