Melissa Abramson
AUTHOR: Melissa Abramson
Aug 2, 2019 - 6 min read
A group celebrating in collaborative intelligence

Why The Future Of Work Lies In Collaborative Intelligence

Organization’s continuous adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are basically shaping the future of work. Nowadays, business leaders are harnessing the real power of technology to complement and augment human workers to maximize efficiency and productivity while cutting down costs. The whole world now founds themselves in an intelligent workplace where our workflows, tasks and responsibilities are being automated by computers.

The increased dependency of industries on artificial intelligence is raising concerns that AI will ultimately take the place of human workers throughout the economy. But this is not likely how the story would end, since the technology’s greater impact is found in complementing and augmenting human capabilities, not displacing them. Recent studies have revealed that organizations would see the most significant performance improvement possible when humans and machine work together.

Humans and AI collaboration is meant to actively facilitate each other’s complementary strengths. The possibilities afforded by collaborative intelligence are enormous and these are really helping to shape the future of work in the following ways:

1. Redefining The Way Work Is Being Done

The fundamental concept behind automation still remains the same. Menial tasks are typically assigned to robots for faster completion and highest level of accuracy without the risk of human error. This has led to a dramatic improvement in the efficiency levels which in turn results into a better bottom line for the entire organization. However, automation brought about by artificial intelligence (AI) has taken this fundamental concept to a whole new level.

Now, automation is more than just programming a machine to perform menial tasks; it is now about depending on humans and machines collaboration to get work done faster in a more effective and efficient way. Here, human workers are really needed to perform three key roles to ensure a smooth functionality of human-machine collaboration. Human workers programs machines to perform specific tasks; interprets the results of those tasks, especially when the results are in contrary to intuition; and maintains the responsible use of machines at the workplace at all time.

2. A New Realm Of Possibilities

It is certain that automation will result into redundancy in specific roles. It is only instinctive to assume that if software robots are capable of executing most of a menial employee’s task more effectively, it will be a good decision for business to transfer those tasks to technology. Though, this will make some specific roles obsolete in the end, it will also result into the creation of new roles and opportunities for human workers to engage in.

Automation can’t entirely take the place of human workers, there are still specific sections where the human intuition can’t be substituted or replicated by automation. Intelligent automation’s larger impact is in complementing and augmenting human capabilities, not eliminating or displacing them. Also, collaborative intelligence are being leverage on by organizations to hire the best talents by using intelligent automation to spot qualified candidates for a particular job position and then allowing Executives to handle the real hiring process.

3. Efficiency And Productivity Maximization

Collaborative intelligence allows machines and humans to work together towards achieving the greater goals of an organization. This would also maximize efficiency and productivity. Artificial intelligence offers humans the space to be more creative and effective and productive in performing specific tasks. With humans working alongside artificial intelligence for certain roles in an organization, the best outcomes possible will always be recordedby the organization.

Humans and machines should complement each other’s strength. Through collaborative intelligence, the speed, scalability, and quantitative strengths of artificial intelligence works in consonance with the leadership, teamwork, creativity, and social skills of the human workers for greater goals of the organization. Any business that intends to continue to stay relevant and competitive in today’s marketspace requires both kind of capabilities (humans and AI collaboration).

4. A New Definition Of Work

As artificial intelligence (AI) is rapidly evolving and improving, the very definition of what organizations assume to be mundane or routine will also continue to undergo a change. With organization’s adoption of smarter technology, more tasks will be pushed to machines to perform. Recently, it was reported from Gartner that by 2022, smart machines and robots could assume the tasks performed by highly trained and experienced professionals in fields including IT, medicine and law. But this doesn’t necessary mean that there will be unemployment for those people working on the front lines.

According to a study carried out by ServiceNow, 79% of executives surveyed made it known that they expect an increase in the adoption of automatic intelligence by organizations to bring about the creation of new roles and job opportunities for individuals. Furthermore, 94% of executives surveyed agreed that the demand for jobs that require soft skills including communication, collaboration and creative problem-solving will increase when repetitive tasks are handled by automation.

5. Collaboration Stations

Many organizations are turning to conversational workplace platforms including Slack, Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business, Google Hangouts, IBM Watson Workspace, Facebook Workplace to bring their teams together. These platforms function as communication hubs that link business units, teams and data sources. They also support third-party apps and can be utilized to enhance an organization’s productivity up to 30%.

Though collaboration platforms areaimed at promoting a more productive workspace, the quantity of information offered can also be constant and overwhelming. The application of AI can help to filter and prioritise messages through an algorithm known as “collaborative filtering” in order to save time and resources.

6. Intelligent Conversations

Collaborative intelligence is really about relying on decision support systems to create work efficiencies. This will help provide you with the right information and insights you need to quickly make decisions to have more time and headspace for productive, meaningful tasks. When human workers and artificial intelligence worktogether, it will make administrative tasks less tedious and decision making easier.

Collaborative intelligence is where the future of work lies. It has come with numerous possibilities and just few are highlighted above. For an organization tosurvive in this constantly evolving marketplace, there is need to embrace collaborative intelligence. To take full benefit of collaboration, organizations need to learn how humans can most effectively work together with machines and how to re-build business processes to support the collaboration.