Progressive organizations around the world seem obsessed by Artificial Intelligence (AI). They believe that it’s AI that is the key to achieve Super Intelligent Enterprises of the future. But before that, let’s consider the ‘Law of Accelerating Returns’, as described by Ray Kurzweil, a renowned futurist.
As per Kurzweil, the human history has been known to follow this principle since its inception, which indicates that more advanced societies possess the intrinsic ability to progress much faster as compared to the ones that are less developed. For instance, humanity in the year 1980 was apparently more advanced than in 1940. And so, the global progress made in those forty years would be miniscule as compared to the pace of progress that’s been achieved in the next forty years, i.e., by 2020.
In fact, he indicates that the entire progress of the 20th century has been achieved within the first fourteen years of 21st century. And a similar amount of it will be achieved by 2021, which means the amount of time would relatively get reduced by half. Subsequently, the whole twentieth century’s worth of progress could happen multiple times in the same year, if you were in 2040, and perhaps, in less than a month, by the time you’ve reached 2060. All in all, going by this Law, the futurist believes that the world could progress 1,000 times more than it had in the previous century.
So, the question is – which could be those technologies that would make this happen. Is AI among them? Whatever be the answer, one thing that could be achieved through AI is a work environment that is more human-centric and not machine-oriented. Well, it may sound contrary to the notion that AI leads to mechanization of enterprises. However, before we come to a conclusion, let’s consider the reasoning below:
1. Minimize Monotony
Redundant tasks such as clerical activities, audits, data-entry or chat-support services are some of the less intriguing jobs that can and are being replaced by AI. While the employment levels in these sectors could be disturbed, it would, in fact, give the companies an opportunity to reallocate the low waged staff performing these mundane jobs to better positions that could add value to the organization. Also, getting these jobs performed by AI can help the enterprises improve their overall efficacy and strive towards a leaner and effective workflow model.
Again, the notion of investing in AI is to increase unemployment is apparently misguided, because any company that is efficient is bound to grow, and in turn would require an increasing number of personnel to keep performing a set of stipulated tasks.
However, with AI taking over the mundane jobs, the company would be able to divert the redundant-task performers towards activities that require better expertise. Thus, it would, in fact, lead to the overall development of their capabilities, which otherwise would go wasted doing meaningless jobs. Such practice of cultivating an inspired workforce with stimulated minds would only ensure further growth of the company, leading to more employment.
2. Improve Collaboration
The language barrier is one of the primary hindrances for businesses seeking to transcend regional boundaries. Especially in the era of hyper-globalization, the ability to enable seamless communication between staff members and customers, as well as co-workers speaking different languages, has become a necessity. Otherwise, the company can risk missing out on numerous lucrative prospects and markets, which could ultimately hamper its growth and profitability. Here,
AI can play a crucial role by helping the staff-members understand the customers as well as their co-workers through real-time translation between any two different global languages. It would be a remarkable achievement for enterprises looking to have a multi-national presence with a diversified human capital.
It will allow businesses to collaborate with their clients like never before as they would be able to hire the best candidates to perform sophisticated tasks, regardless of language or location. Moreover, it would also magnify an organization’s ability to achieve a common goal through humanistic development, eradicating all distinctions.
3. Increase Innovation
As AI would help businesses eradicate routine tasks, it would give them a chance to self-introspect. Hence, companies would be able to identify new avenues that could boost innovation and creativity. For instance, when an enterprise enables its sales team from shifting its focus from creating and monitoring regular reports to more a value-added activity of building relationships with customers through constant engagement, it would help them to achieve more conversions, and in turn increase the bottom line.
Similarly, the HR team could delegate their redundant tasks to AI, and focus mainly on the development of their human capital, ensuring to maintain and improve the morale of the employees. Apparently, an inspired group of employees can be critical for a progress-oriented company seeking to achieve both strategic and competitive advantage over its competitors.
So, an impending disruption that will only help the human aspect of an enterprise to improve should be perceived as more of an opportunity by the global business fraternity. Going by the inference, Artificial Intelligence, with its ever-advancing capabilities, could well be the technology that would guide the humanity to keep conforming to the Law of Accelerating Returns.