Playing now

Playing now

Artificial intelligence in the workplace

Back to search results

Once the stuff of science fiction, artificial intelligence (AI) is now a part of our daily lives. From service chat bots and ride-sharing apps to social media networks and voice-enabled speakers, AI is making our daily lives easier. But, what does this mean for your business?

On Twitter we posed this question to several Sage Business Experts. Included in the discussion were Rieva Lesonsky – CEO of GrowBiz Media, Jackye Clayton – director of success for Hiring Solved, Shep Hyken – customer service and experience expert, David Clarke, data protection and cybersecurity expert, and Eric Kavanagh – tech adviser for SXSW. Here’s what they had to say.

Do you think AI is on track to replace the human workforce?

“I don’t think it will replace humans in the workforce (that’s a Twilight Zone episode). We will use AI to supplement our work.”
Rieva Lesonsky @Rieva

“In no way are we on track to replace the human workforce. It will replace tasks so that the workforce can be more efficient but will not replace jobs.”
Jackye Clayton @jackyeclayton

“Not at this time. AI is great for basic questions and issues, which frees up the human-to-human support needs for higher level issues.”
Shep Hyken @Hyken

What is the most practical use of AI in business that you’ve come across?

“Rather than AI interact with the customer, it interacts with the support agent. Customer calls and AI delivers important info about the customer to the agent. The agent types the questions into the computer and AI responds with the perfect answer.”
Shep Hyken @Hyken

“Administrative work is perfect for AI. There are thousands of downloadable apps – many free – to handle administrative tasks, such as calendaring, scheduling meetings, sending notifications, and setting reminders.”
Rieva Lesonsky @Rieva

“Quite a few examples already. Optimizing sales effort: whom to call/email/meet and when. Augmenting traditional business intelligence and analytics. Scanning vast amounts of structured or even unstructured data to find anomalies. Unearthing interesting observations.
Eric Kavanagh @eric_kavanagh

What do you consider the single largest benefit of AI and automation in business?

“As it applies to CX (customer experience), one of the biggest benefits to AI is how it interprets data quickly and efficiently, enabling the company or agent to deliver a higher level of personalization.”
Shep Hyken @Hyken

“The ability to discover hidden and diverse talent within an existing workplace is the largest benefit. So often recruiters start from scratch rather than look internally at what they already have.”
Jackye Clayton @jackyeclayton

“It can do a complex task consistently and quickly.”
David Clarke @1DavidClarke

Conversely, what do you consider the single biggest drawback of AI and automation in business?

“Companies are becoming enamored or overly dependent on AI and losing the connection they have with their customers. Few companies have mastered the ability to create confidence, trust, and an emotional connection using AI and automation.”
Shep Hyken @Hyken

“Not balancing the use of AI with regular staff. AI is complementary.”
Rieva Lesonsky @Rieva

“The single biggest drawback of AI and automation in business is people’s misunderstanding of how it works. People are misinformed as to the benefits as well as the limitations. (Yet they THINK they know). We need to admit to ourselves that it is still in its infancy.”
Jackye Clayton @jackyeclayton

What concerns you most about how advanced AI is becoming?

“Whether regulation is possible.”
David Clarke @1DavidClarke

“As long as AI enhances the experience for both customer and employees, there isn’t a concern. I do have concerns that a company could make the mistake of overly using AI and losing the connection that creates customer loyalty.”
Shep Hyken @Hyken

“I’m worried employers will overlook the advantage human interactions can bring and become too dependent on AI. You’ll just alienate customers.”
Rieva Lesonsky @Rieva

“My biggest concern is that I will not have access to all of the information I need to make an informed decision based on what an algorithm thinks I am interested in.”
Jackye Clayton @jackyeclayton

In conclusion

Our Twitter discussion ended with one final thought from Rieva Lesonsky:

“In general, to make AI work for you: Educate employees on how automation will give them more time to focus on the most interesting aspects of their jobs….To make automation work for your business: start small, by automating processes that are not mission-critical. Expand automation as you become more comfortable with the concept.”

Thank you to everyone who participated in this Twitter chat. To learn more about artificial intelligence in 2019, download our handbook for business leaders.

Artificial intelligence in 2019: A handbook for business leaders

Get the must-have guide for senior leaders looking for practical guidance on harnessing the power of AI in your organization.

Get the handbook

Leave a response