Artificial Intelligence (AI) is all the talk and rage. While it has been for some time now, conversations around AI have become realities across businesses and industries. AI has unfathomable possibilities and is changing the way we work. From our everyday use of cell phones to ChatGPT, it’s become necessary for all individuals to understand it, be innovative in processes, and adapt to the changes it brought. Let’s discover our AI in the workplace is transforming the employee experience. 

What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a computer science concept that revolves around creating computing hardware simulating human intelligence. In other words, it has been designed to think independently, think like humans, and to some extent imitate human actions and behaviors. The capacity of a machine to exhibit human-like abilities and perceive its environment based on the data it gathers is known as artificial intelligence (AI).

Meet ChatGPT

The biggest conversation piece anyone who’s anyone is having is around the (not so) new kid on the block, ChatGPT. ChatGPT is an AI chatbot that was launched in November 2022 and built on previous models developed by AI research company OpenAI. Simply put, ChatGPT is an NLP (natural language processing) tool powered by AI technology that enables you to communicate with the robot in ways that are like those of a human being while also doing much more. Coding, essays, composing emails, this technology can do it all.

The impact of AI in the workplace

AI, like other technologies that have come before, is leading, and transforming the attrition of certain jobs and roles. This, however, should not scare any of us. Just like other technologies changed the way we work, they also opened new industries and jobs. In the same way, the expectancy is that with AI, creatives, and innovators will imagine ways to leverage this technology into every area of work and business life. The full extent of its impact is yet to be pinned down.

Physical labour-intensive jobs are less vulnerable to automation, and emerging markets might be less exposed to it than established ones. Additionally, reports about AI’s impact suggest that it could bolster global GDPs and fortify productivity.

There’s no denying that AI and the untapped possibilities that are yet to be explored will leave their mark. What we need to do is not just understand its role in the workplace but investigate how we can use AI to augment and enhance our work. How can you make the best of AI so that you aren’t left behind?

How to leverage AI in the workplace

  1.   Have an AI strategy

The use of AI won’t just happen. You need to have a clear plan and strategy of how you will integrate it into the workplace and how it will work. Take time as an organisation to develop goals, outcomes, and desired results of introducing AI into the workplace. Doing this will help you pre-empt and address possible challenges and mitigate any risks that may come with them.

  1.   Encourage upskilling and reskilling of staff

The value of digital literacy has never been more important than it is now. Millions of employees across various industries, and at every level, need to be trained or reskilled in global digital literacy. This training will enable employees to partner with new technologies and add value to companies and themselves.

  1.   Create a culture of innovation

We often hear it said, If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. That is, don’t mess with what works or change things unnecessarily. In some cases, this is true, but with something like AI that is going to change our lives and the way we do things, it’s better to get on the horse and ride. As an employer, it is your job to create a workforce culture that embraces innovation, change, trying new things, exploring new ways of doing things, and ultimately, how to make the best of AI to improve daily tasks and business processes. You can try to arrange workshops, and brainstorming sessions, hold training meetings, and more with a focus on AI and how it can be applied to your business and individual jobs roles.

After all, it’s often much easier to ring in changes and introduce new things when you involve the people the changes will directly affect and impact. Make your employees part of the change.

  1.   Explore collaboration

An African proverb says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” There are many companies, organisations, and institutions with knowledge, access, cutting-edge technology, and a team of experts who can help you understand and take the next steps in your business. Find ways to partner with and collaborate with these groups and individuals and be part of the knowledge exchange and sharing opportunities AI brings.

  1.   Be diverse and inclusive

To experience the full benefits and potential of AI, employees should strive to be inclusive and encourage diversity within the workforce. This means ensuring that all genders have equal access to AI training, tools, and opportunities and creating a culture that is open to hearing from different backgrounds, hearing experiences, and insights that others who have previously been overlooked, may bring.

  1.   Reallocate funds

AI will undoubtedly change the way we do business. And companies need to prepare to reallocate funds to revenue-generating activities. This means organisations and governments need to invest in research, development, training, and buying software and programmes to ensure companies remain at the forefront of their industries and that the knowledge and skills get into the right hands – all hands.

And finally, prepare for the future today.

AI is here to stay. It is on all of us, whether as business owners or as an employee to understand its implications, not just in the workplace, but the societal impact it will have. The rate at which AI is developing means we cannot put our heads in the sand and hope it passes by and doesn’t affect us. In some ways, we will all be impacted and the best way to arm yourself is to educate yourself on what AI is, what it can do, and how you can use it in every sphere of your life. 

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