Artificial intelligence (AI) does not "steal" or impair human jobs. In the Western world, robots and artificial intelligence help create better jobs than before. But it requires HR to understand the capabilities of new technology and work even more closely with the business. That is the conclusion of a new report from PA Consulting and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), People and machines: from hype to reality.
When looking at the impact of AI and automation in the workplace, it turns out the provide at least as many jobs as they replace. The study is from the UK, but nothing suggests that it would be different in Denmark. And the fact that AI is not limiting the demand for new employee is good news and disproves the common belief that AI creates more unemployment.
One third of the 759 companies that participated in our survey had invested in AI and automation over the past five years and employment effects were positive: 43% saw more jobs in the areas affected, and 40% saw fewer. By nearly three to one, 44% to 18%, employers said that AI and automation had made jobs more secure.
With the introduction of new digital tools, employees' tasks have become more exciting and their contribution to the business has become different and greater. In other words, technology and artificial intelligence have a huge impact on your workplace, your job description, your work culture and your working methods. According to the study, 60% of employees experience a decrease in monotonous tasks, and 41% stressed that they had more control over their own working hours following the implementation of AI or automation. It emphasises the opportunity to use technology to improve people's jobs and release the human aspects of our work.
Find out why HR is the key to unlocking the transformational benefits of AI and automation
HR needs more impact
But the report also shows that only 55% of organisations consult with HR when investing in AI or automation. And that only 45% of HR departments were involved in the implementation itself. It is worrying - since AI and automation redefine employee’s way of working.
Therefore, HR and IT must become far better at collaborating and designing a strategic work management plan that puts people at the centre.
In our eyes, there is an opportunity here for HR to take more ownership in the development of technology and IT. They also need to become better at communicating positive development and shaping a more future-proof employee strategy for AI and automation.
HR professionals should work closely with the IT department to map requirements for future competencies along with the opportunities and roles needed to work at a company with support from AI tools. This means identifying how technology can help boost productivity and how it can meet new skills requirements.
HR teams that take a leadership responsibility for their future workforce can secure a leading position for their organisation in the competition to attract the best talent and thus create the greatest competitive advantage. Conversely, if HR does not begin to take responsibility for ensuring the balance between technological and human resources, employers will lose control over building the right competency profiles for collaboration and business development.
AI and automation are tools to make each employee more productive. It is a growing and business-critical area that opens new opportunities to be competitive and innovative on the international scene. Denmark has been named Innovation Leader of the European Commission thanks to our 'open, attractive research systems, network culture, entrepreneurial spirit and intellectual competencies'. Are we ready to further develop the human skills and organisation required by AI and automation?