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Businesses Must Plan for Rise of AI



A recent poll conducted by the Alexander Mann Solutions painted a grim picture of the HR profession’s preparedness for artificial intelligence (AI) in the workplace. The survey involved over 2,000 HR practitioners and found that only 23% of them were confident that the next generation of human resource professionals is ready for AI. Yet, 69% of the respondents were convinced that humanoids would be part of the workforce in most work environments by 2030.

When the pollster asked them about the type of skill firms should develop to harness the potential of AI fully, 36% of the respondents thought that workers should be adaptable to change. Meanwhile, 22% thought that creativity would be critical, while 18% insisted that technical and IT skills would be essential.

Laurie Padua, the director of Technology and Operations Consulting at Accenture, believes AI has the potential to improve the productivity of the UK economy by £654bn by 2035. However, this potential will only be realized if the human talent handling the adoption, implementation and management of the technology is competent.

Laurie further notes that successful implementation is premised on strategic planning and execution. Consequently, HR managers have the imperative to implement strategic human resource plans that will enable organisations to hire staff with the requisite technical skills. They also need to recruit workers that have core competencies such as communication skills and creativity since they are hard to produce using machines.

HR executives and strategists must focus on retraining the existing staff and hiring a workforce that is competent in working with robots. However, HR experts are confident that AI will not replace workers. Instead, employees will harness AI to improve their efficiency and productivity. At the same time, innate human skills will be highly valuable. For instance, GE is creating a ‘robotic workforce’ by shifting its machine-learning lab to the cloud as a way of improving organisational efficiency and customer service.

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