AI and Emerging Technologies – the Control Conundrum

Today’s post is from Claire Richardson, director, The Workforce Institute at Kronos EMEA & Vice President EMEA Professional Services, Kronos Incorporated. Here she discusses the control conundrum posed by the introduction of artificial intelligence into a process – who’s in charge?

My last post about change management provided insight into employee feelings about something new or changing a process they’ve been doing for years – which can be scary. As a follow-on thought, I’d like to discuss the most talked about shift in technology to date – using emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).

Organizations know that to stay competitive they need to innovate and keep moving forward with the newest and most effective technologies. They know that a new product or technology can make life easier, but then they worry that they are no longer in control. Control or lack thereof, I’ve found, is a big topic when it comes to AI. Especially if you’re making a decision that will impact other people, you think, “What if this thing that is supposed to automate a task I’ve done for a long time, makes a mistake? “.

In these instances, I find bringing the person whose job will be impacted by AI or ML on the journey is best. Talk to them in a situational way. Walk through their process of holiday requests, scheduling, shift swapping and be as personal and customized as possible. Remember that no technology is a one size fits all solution. Most of the time through the discussion of implementing AI, organizations realize that they aren’t being eliminated from the equation – they just don’t have to do it all. I tell them, “You can do this yourself, or you can get the technology to do it for you and have it give you a recommendation, and you still have the final say.” When presented this way, they often realize that using AI for some set of tasks frees up their time to support their team or do tings of more strategic value rather than having time taken on more administrative tasks.

I do believe there is a myth that AI will take jobs away. I  believe AI is going to free people from the mundane and focus them on where their efforts and expertise matters can make an impact and deliver value.

2 thoughts on “AI and Emerging Technologies – the Control Conundrum

  1. Very good point made on this article and there’s definitely a fear among employees that AI will replace people in their jobs. I have heard from numerous frontline staff in the telecommunications industry that they are worried AI could replace the need for customer service staff.

  2. It reminds me to trepidation people felt when they were told they could use an ATM instead of a teller. As you point out, when you bring them along and they experience it, they realize most of their fears are unfounded.

    On the other side of the coin, even if AI doesn’t replace people; the people who won’t use AI will be replaced. The world is moving too fast for organizations to keep people who resist learning new things.

Please share your comments

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.