Artificial intelligence (AI) is already underway, having a deep impact on business processes and its people. It is however interesting to learn how business leaders are reacting to AI progress. Dale Carnegie’s Whitepaper on ‘Beyond Technology’ that talks about ‘Preparing People for Success in the Era of AI’ shows a restrained optimism in regard to AI entering their workplace. While 44% agree that AI will have positive impacts, two-thirds (64%) of respondents are worried about losing their jobs in the near future due to technological advances.
The whitepaper was based on a survey which covered 3,500 executives by Dale Carnegie of India, indicated that more than 60% of respondents are likely to accept appraisal by AI, if they are fully aware of the criteria. Another 32% of the respondents mention that they are not fully equipped with this criterion. Two in three people surveyed said they felt positive about AI taking over routine tasks so that they could focus on more meaningful work.
Dramatic shifts are being witnessed in the way information is getting communicated. Breaking the traditional model of communication in one way flow, the messages and information are being conveyed differently in the form of email, social media, apps, pulse surveys. While it has helped companies in reaping tremendous benefits, it has also paved way for new challenges. It has been noted while the increased usage of virtual meetings has reduced travel time and costs significantly, they can be less effective in many situations, said the report.
For instance, the research has shown that physically shaking hands promotes the adoption of cooperative strategies and positively influences negotiation outcomes – that can’t yet be done via video. And though monitoring software in the workplace has undoubtedly improved productivity and security, it can also send the message to employees that the company does not trust them, which research shows decreasing morale and workers’ productivity.
The whitepaper highlights that directors are of the opinion that gains from AI could be offset by losses, at least in part, if the resulting impact on corporate culture has the effect of disengaging employees.
For some, the revolution has already begun, with 23% of respondents said that artificial intelligence and automation are already influencing their roles and another 44% expects that this will happen in the next five years.
Bottom-line for CXOs
The research further identified three important aspects that would help employees feel more positive about AI:
- Trust in their organization’s leadership
- Transparency resulting in a clear understanding of what the AI does
- Giving employees confidence in their ability to transition
Pallavi Jha, Chairperson and Managing Director, Dale Carnegie of India said, “In today’s organizations, success depends on human-machine partnerships. Leaders should focus on building trust, providing transparency and building confidence in their workforce to be able to evolve along with the changing way of work. Trust and transparency will go a long way towards bringing in more people into decision making processes and helping employees approach AI with a positive attitude.”
There can be no second opinion about the fact that the success of achieving the full potential of AI and other new age technologies depends on how collaborative humans and machines can get. The same was highlighted in the roundtable discussion. For the CXOs, it is important to encourage a positive attitude towards AI projects. They must inculcate strong trust in leadership, transparency in how AI algorithms work, and confidence in their ability to transition to the required skillset. This will go a long way in helping employees become advocates for what can, and will, be done with AI.