The Industrial Revolution brought many benefits, such as increased productivity, wealth, trade, innovation and living standards. But it also came with many challenges and costs, such as environmental degradation, social inequality, urbanisation, exploitation of workers etc. Many people feared that the new machines would take away their jobs and livelihoods or make them obsolete.
Today, we are witnessing another major transformation in human history: the rise of artificial intelligence (AI). AI is the ability of machines or software to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence or creativity. AI could be used in various sectors such as health care, education, entertainment, finance and communication. AI can also augment human capabilities by providing assistance, advice or feedback.
The pace of development of artificial intelligence tools is rapid. Some examples of AI applications include:
Generative Artificial Intelligence (Generative AI) applications, such as ChatGPT, are algorithms that can be used to create new content, including audio, code, images, text, simulations, and videos. Generative AI in its current form generally uses prompts to create content.
What are some real-life examples of Artificial Intelligence in work?
AI is already being used in various domains and industries to improve efficiency, quality, innovation and well-being such as Digital assistants like Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant and Cortana are AI-powered software that can perform tasks or services for users based on voice or text commands. Other technology that we have seen for a few years already are self-driving cars that can drive themselves without human intervention by using sensors, cameras, radars and AI algorithms
How can social sector employers prepare for the future of work with Artificial Intelligence?
AI has the potential to bring many benefits, such as enhancing efficiency, quality, innovation and well-being. But it also poses many challenges and risks, such as ethical dilemmas, social impacts, confidentiality and legal issues and security threats.
The future of work with AI is not predetermined and is still in its early days for mass use. The way AI will be shaped and used depends on how employers design, develop and deploy AI systems, as well as how we adapt and regulate them.
Employers have an opportunity and a responsibility to shape the future of work with AI in a way that maximises its benefits and minimises harm:
- To start, employers can encourage employees to develop skills that can use AI to the benefit of the organisation. While some tasks may be automated by AI, others may require human skills such as creativity, critical thinking, emotional intelligence and social interaction. These skills can help us collaborate with AI systems or perform tasks that are difficult for machines. We can develop these skills through education, training and lifelong learning .
- Employers should not be afraid to embrace AI as part of the tools available to employees. This does require a potential shift in the way we work which requires employers to adopt new ways of working that suit the preferences and needs of the organisation.
- Employers are encouraged to have a strong AI policy in place that sets out clear rules on the use of AI. For example, employers may want to ensure that data protection is preserved when using AI by limiting what can be used as an input. Furthermore, AI may not be appropriate when trying to use it as part of a paid for service or product, considering the risks of IP breaches or plagiarism. Roots HR can support you with the development of a fit for purpose Artificial Intelligence Policy, tailored for social sector employers.
AI is transforming the world of work in unprecedented ways. It offers many opportunities and challenges for workers, employers and society at large.
As AI continues to evolve and improve, we can expect more applications and innovations in the future.
Employers need to prepare themselves for the future of work with AI by developing skills that are complementary to AI, embracing new ways of working and creating a human-centred culture. By doing so, we can harness the power of AI for good and create a better future for ourselves and others.
If you have any queries regarding using AI at work or would like an Artificial Intelligence Policy, please do contact us on 01562 840060 or via info@https://www.rootshr.org.uk.