Businesses around the world adopting Artificial Intelligence (AI) grew by 270% in four years (Gartner, 2019).

By Arslan Khan

Artificial Intelligence is going to come to the doorstep of every organization, sooner or later. It’s up to the organizations how are they going to assess the rate of the adoption of AI technologies. And how are they going to adjust and shift their workforces to these hi-tech tools. To help you understand this new-fashioned term, AI refers to making machines think like a human, and to simulate human intelligence. And to replicate human mind traits like learning and problem solving. For instance, Netflix recommending people movies based on their past watching history is simply AI at work.

Dynamic Capabilities are the technological, organizational and managerial processes an organization can use to expand and build their competencies. Implementing AI when it’s still in its early stages can act as a Dynamic Capability for an organization. Implementing AI can become a core competency for an organization. Organizations should be in the continuous cycle of adaptation and learning in order to survive. First, economies were essentially product, and now it’s moving towards a service (intangible) based economy. Due to this increasing pace of change and the dynamic nature of the environment, organizations need Dynamic capabilities to survive. And that’s where implementing AI and using it for the future predictions can be effective.

What companies can do is to develop training and coaching methods in the Human Resource Development (HRD) department to train employees for this latest technology. With proper training in the HRD department, organizations can take its employees on-board on implementing AI and leaving most of the administrative task for AI based tools to do. The HRD department should provide its employees with new opportunities to learn skills related to Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, so the interaction can be smoother.

AI can be used in many different ways within organizations. AI can automate scheduling and reporting, budget management, and to allocate resources. AI tools will provide key insights to organizations based on the data they have collected on their customers. Many organizations are using AI to send a more personalized marketing message to a customer. With AI, companies are able to forecast consumer behavior and recommend certain products.

Major tech giants like Amazon, Google, Facebook, and are using AI in daily operations and products/service. With the help of AI, these companies provide next-level experiences to their customers. Amazon, for example, use AI in an innovative and pioneering way by shipping things to you before you even think of buying them. Amazon collects a lot of data on its customers and processes that data with the help of AI, and determine the buying habits of its customers. Amazon recommends items to its buyers based on that data. Amazon uses AI in predictive analysis, the company can predict what customers need even before they know what they need to buy.

United States and only 2.4 percent of those businesses have adopted advance AI tools like machine learning and deep learning in their day-to-day operations. Organizations are constantly influenced by a set of factors, internal and external. AI influences external factors like technology. For an organization to thrive it has to consider all the factors. Organizations to survive must adapt to the ever-changing external factors. Adaptability is the new competitive advantage. Organizations must be in the continuous process of improving their products to better suit their consumers.

Data is the new valuable resource, gone are the days when an organization with the highest scale curve was the most successful business. When data comes in, that’s where AI plays a crucial role for the organizations. Data can be such a great competitive asset for an organization now. With the help of AI-backed tools, Data can forecast and predict trends in the future, help diagnosis the processes and areas where an organization is lacking behind its competitors.

There will certainly be more advancements to come in the field of AI, it’s still in its early days. But, organizations who are fast to read the signals of the changing environment due to AI, will the shapers and adapters in their industries. They will be able to create new marketing opportunities and adapt themselves more effectively to the changes and upcoming opportunities in the organization.

A common misbelief is found in the working environment of organizations that AI is there to take their jobs. AI will certainly displace some jobs, but more importantly, it will change the work that humans do; work humans are good at. Contrary to what workers think of AI, experts believe that it will create a plethora of new jobs, jobs that don’t even exist yet. Organizations should not concern about implementing AI in their daily operations. AI is here to automate the repetitive and administrative tasks which take most of the time of workers in a workforce. By enabling AI to automate certain tasks in the workflow, it will allow managers and employees of
organizations to do the tasks important to increase productivity, creativity, and profitability.

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However while implementing AI, there are some hard realities to consider. A study at Women’s Policy Research (WPR) found that 58% of jobs that women comprise of are at risk of automation to losing these jobs to AI.  Another study at Bookings Institution found that almost 25% of US jobs related to administration are at high risk of automation.

Yet despite these studies, according to Mckinsey, a consulting firm, that 77% of companies don’t expect any change in their workforce as a result of automation and adoption of AI. Another global study done by Oracle and Future Workforce included over 8 thousand managers, employees, HR leaders from over 10 countries. Two-third stated that they are interested and excited about implementing AI, and the prospects of having robotic co-workers. Survey also found that most workers think robots aided by AI will perform better than managers at certain tasks like handling work schedules, providing real-time information, and budget management.

By implementing AI to automate certain processes, managers can focus on tasks that can result in increase in productive. Since AI will be removing most of the repetitive and administrative tasks primarily done by managers. Manager’s roles in organizations will change and evolve to focus more on soft skills and judgmental work.

AI is surely good with data and automation, but they cannot use knowledge exclusive to the workers of an organization like. For instance, knowledge like organizational culture, its behavior, and its history is only exclusive to employees of an organization. That’s the essence of human judgment that it can’t be replicated. For crucial and important business decisions and strategy making, the use of experience and expertise of humans is crucial.

Adopting and Integrating new technologies have always been a major challenge for organizations. AI has great potential to offer to organizations, and because of this, it poses an even bigger challenge to implement AI. While implementing AI, organizations should consider key factors like privacy, transparency, and some ethical questions that arise with implementing AI. Organizations should implement AI in a way that’s more engaging and understandable with employees otherwise it will feel unnatural for them to work with machines.

Organizations can use the process of organizational development (OD) and implement AI in the workforce through the steps of OD i.e. diagnosis, action, planning, implementing, and evaluation. Using the OD process will help organizations to manage the change that results due to the implementation of these advanced technologies like AI and machine learning. The diagnosis step will identify that will be the repercussions of not using these tools in the future. And how will it interfere with the organization’s effectiveness?

AI will push executives and managers to reconsider their roles in organizations. AI will refine the fundamental ways that an organization is run. Adoption of AI will mean that the human interaction with machines and robotics will increase, pushing the organizational environment to a more dynamic one. Executive and managers have to switch from prediction related skills to intelligence and knowledge related skills. . AI is good at taking past data and predicting the future whereas humans are good at being creative and experimental, looking at things from their own experience and expertise. For organizations to thrive in this new age, what they ought to do is to make the interactions b/w humans and machines smoother and beneficial.