From marketing to strategic decision-making, to knowledge-management, AI is transforming the way we work. For this reason, it’s crucial that future business leaders develop a working knowledge of how AI can play out in the office.
But how exactly will AI shape the future of work? BusinessBecause spoke with two experts from Warwick Business School (WBS) to find out.
Jochem looks at the impact AI has on business, reviewing ways in which the technology undertakes expert tasks. Shweta has focused on researching the multiple issues AI technology is suffering from such as bias, explainability, and ethics, and is finding solutions and answers to make the technology more viable for use in business.
Here are four ways the pair think AI will influence the future of work.
1. AI can help understand reasons behind human bias in recruitment
Although AI is a long way from replacing recruiters, the technology could help understand humans’ unconscious bias during the hiring process.
Humans tend to unconsciously reinforce the status quo, which often means replicating a workplace that favors white men.
Although human-developed AI can replicate this bias, it also has the potential to understand human assumptions from the equation. AI can perform tasks such as anonymizing job applications so candidates can be screened more objectively, or use data to provide insights on how to attract more diverse talent.
“It really depends on the development which will determine whether the AI will be good or bad,” notes Jochem Hummel (pictured below), assistant professor at the Information Systems Management Group at Warwick Business school. “You need collaborative development, between the experts who are doing the hiring and those developing the AI.”
Experts are currently working on ways to manage and review these issues. Shweta Singh, assistant professor of information systems and management at Warwick Business School, combines AI models with mathematical models of Cognition to find solutions to AI bias.
2. Automating routine tasks could free up human time
There are certain tasks that AI can perform more quickly and effectively than humans. But rather than replacing humans altogether, this tech will free up human time for other tasks.
For instance, voice-based AI technologies such as ‘Siri’ or ‘Alexa’ have become our very own digital personal assistants.
“[Tools like Siri and Alexa offer users] realtime answers to their queries, respond to their requests, and also aim to become more intelligent every day by constantly renewing and updating the knowledge they have about their users,” Shweta explains.
With AI helping them schedule meetings, answer questions, and write your to-do list, human workers can focus on more creative endeavors.
And in more sophisticated areas, AI is catching up, Jochem says.
“In our research, we looked at lawyers and the way they learn and read court documents. Now with AI, the technology is able to screen the documents and tell lawyers where they should look instantly,” explains Jochem.
AI technology’s ability to undertake expert tasks is extremely time-efficient for lawyers, allowing them to focus on understanding the output produced by AI. Lawyers will spend less time being trained to read documents, and longer on understanding why the AI makes certain decisions and how to act upon them.
This automation does not mean the exclusion of humans. Although court documents can be analyzed by AI, the software cannot provide an engaging explanation of its decision process.
This is where humans will need to come into play.
3. Humans and AI will work side by side
Companies that rely solely on AI to automate processes and use it to displace employees will only see short-term gains as the technology does not have acute emotional intellect, or creative skills to innovate.
Shweta thinks the most successful organizations will pair AI with humans in the long-run in order to achieve Augmented Intelligence — that is, the use of machine and deep learning to provide humans with actionable data. The technology is not innovating to replace but to enhance humans.
“Human AI collaboration and coexistence will become the future of work and Augmented Intelligence will become the ‘new normal,’” explains Shweta.
For this approach to be successful, organizations will need to build an interface between humans and AI.
“There needs to be some sort of translation between the technology and the experts,” Jochem explains.
At WBS, Jochem and his colleagues are helping future leaders manage this balance.
4. AI will create brand new jobs
The World Economic Forum estimates that by 2025, technology will create at least 12 million more jobs than it destroys. There will be a growing demand for data analysts and scientists, AI and machine learning specialists, digital and marketing strategy specialists, among many more.
“We talk about the displacement of jobs, but we do not talk about how many new jobs will be created. There is research that finds that over time the number of jobs created by AI will be more than the ones taken away,” notes Shweta.
The technology allows room for humans to focus on higher-value and higher-touch tasks requiring interpersonal interactions. Individuals will have more time to be creative, strategic and entrepreneurial.
“You can start to innovate and do other tasks better, more efficiently,” concludes Jochem. “Automation and augmentation are not necessarily leading to fewer jobs, and our research is showing that so far.”
As future business leaders prepare to go into a fast-changing, uniquely challenging post-COVID business environment, the MBA programs offered by schools like WBS will play an important role in equipping them for innovation.
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Warwick Business School
BSc Management with Marketing
I loved Warwick business school. The staff is supportive, my academic tutor was key in my development throughout the 3 years and you have to meet with her/him every term. Most professors are helpful and would happily offer support if needed. You also have office hours and can contact professors by email and through the forum. In general, WBS instills in you the willingness to learn and the resilience needed for you for whatever career you choose. Very international community which broadens your horizon and makes you more open minded and self aware. You will most certainly make friends and memories for life. I recommend that you get outside of your comfort zone and try new activities with your friends! WBS also has a great reputation and offers careers opportunities, and careers support throughout the degree. There is the opportunity to do a year abroad to further develop on a personal level. I wasn’t able to do this due to Covid but I would have loved to do it during normal circumstances! Would definitely recommend this. Although Warwick is not a city university, the campus vibe has a lot of advantages, especially at an undergraduate level. You are always around familiar faces, and in a student environment. Moreover, Birmingham is only 20 mins away from Leamington spa and London is only one hour away! Perfect for a day trip or a weekend getaway!
Life at Warwick Business School
Pursuing my master's degree at WBS has been a game-changer in my life. With high-quality education, interaction with students from across the world, amazing campus life and much more. I was able to learn about business, finance, project management and strategy all in one course: MSc in Management at WBS. Besides the top-notch education from the best professors, I also enjoyed being a part of fun societies and participating in fun activities such as scavenger hunts and so much more. The school also organises many company visits and interactions which help students get a head start at finding a job. As my course came to an end, I also have a good full-time job placement in my hands. Overall, my experience at WBS was a great one.
The Warwick Business School was like a dream come to life for me. The University ranking speaks for itself, from top-tier facilities to some of the best professors I had to honour to study with I fell in love with my course. Interactions with people from all over the world gave me a newfound confidence in myself. Career prospects after graduating are endless due to the contacts of the universities and the success rate for previous students, it does open a lot of doors for students in various career fields. The campus life is quite good as well with a lot of student groups and clubs, and extra circular activities to engage students at all times. Loved my experience.
A good business school
It is a very cutting-edge, career-oriented business school, all courses are very practical, and the college does a very good job of career service. From the hardware and facilities to the staff, the student experience is at the core of the school and student satisfaction is taken very seriously. I understand that many universities in the UK are relatively traditional and can occasionally be rigid in terms of rules and regulations, and although WBS has a relatively short history, this makes it more innovative and dynamic, which is essential for a business school. The downside is that because it is on the outskirts of Coventry, it is a long bus ride to the city centre, not to mention the difference in experience from a big city like London.
The people, campus, staff. It’s a very enjoyable environment and it’s particularly good for learning and playing sports. The people there are extremely friendly and welcoming and it’s very easy to make friends
What I Like About Warwick
I’ve personally liked my experience at Warwick so far because of the amazing people I’ve gotten to meet and how many opportunities we students are provided with to learn and grow. Within Warwick, I’m part of the Business School, a learning haven comprised of well-structured modules and extremely helpful people All in all, a great place to be :)
One thing that stood out for me was the campus life, you felt like part of a community. The social aspects of the student union and on-campus accommodation meant you can easily get together and enjoy with friends. Additionally, I felt the course provided a variety of subjects allowing me to enhance my knowledge, from Marketing to Law and Finance. Overall I would most definitely recommend this university to friends and family.
Excellence self catered
The campus is very welcoming and Modern. There are many opportunities at Warwick but it is up to the student how do they want to make the most out of it and the staff at the school will definitely helo as much as possible. The location and the ranking have been amazing.
Warwick business school
Warwick business school is one of the best universities around the globe with a solid base of economic and business studies. Moreover, students get a chance to study in a diverse and warm environment with professional stuff which tries to provide the best opportunities for career development. One of the memorable features of the university are great events which sometimes take a place in one of the landmarks of the London city, the Shard building.