With so many different schools of thought around how AI and new developments in technology will affect and define work, what are some actions employers can take to prepare for using automation in the workplace and support their human employees at the same time? Based on recent research, Accenture’s Mark Knickrehm suggests that organizations focus on using technology to “augment human skills,” such as having automation take over routine or tedious work while freeing up employees to have more time to do high-value work. Knickrehm also recommends rethinking organizational design: assessing which tasks are most likely to be given to machines, then redefining current jobs with new tasks or creating entirely new roles that may be needed to help manage intelligent technology altogether. When redefining the new organization as an “intelligent enterprise,” organizations can involve employees in building it, which can help “unleash human talents that machines still can’t match and that are essential to growth.” The clothing subscription service Stitch Fix is one example of a workplace that successfully blends AI and human work — employees and their AI system work in tandem, with machines speeding up the process and the human employees contributing final recommendations that require judgement machines can’t make. In the end, “companies that actively seize control of what can be done to prepare will position themselves to thrive in this exciting new era.”
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