The “Robolution” is underway. Robots and artificial intelligence (AI) are becoming increasingly part of everyday life. More and more people are afraid of being replaced by robots, losing their jobs in a society that appears to focus less and less on the individual. For example, BNL is planning to make massive personnel cuts as they introduce machine learning and AI solutions. News like this only reinforces our fears of being replaced. How can we prevent the artificial from overpowering the human?
“In a world that integrates artificial intelligence more and more, communication and trust will remain the elements people rely on.” Sergio Borra, CEO of Dale Carnegie Italia (a company dealing in corporate, managerial and behavioral training) has no doubt about it.
Speaking on the results of research conducted within numerous companies in 11 countries on the relationship between AI and the world of work, Borra states that “soft skills” will make the difference in this transition – a time in which companies increasingly pursue and adopt new technologies, allured by the guarantee of cost reduction. “Communication and creativity are crucial,” Borra explains. “The analysis of big data to help a company perform better are indeed important, but this understanding is even more valuable when accompanied by the unique touch only people can give. Connection and human relationships are important in an ever-digital, interconnected world. A critical job of leaders is to ensure that AI can not only automate processes, reduce costs and increase revenues, but also truly change people’s lives for the better.”
Humans will therefore never be completely replaced by artificial intelligence but will rather learn to cooperate with it. “Yes, but we must refine certain skills. What has worked in the past will hardly work now.” The fear of change is certainly not a new phenomenon: “This fear stems from both the great potential of artificial intelligence and rate at which this societal shift is happening. People are not ready for this change, yet it is essential that human beings are at the center. Of course, there will be some professions and tasks that will disappear entirely, a bit like when typists disappeared with the introduction of computers. But with the introduction and adaptation of technology, other jobs will be created, with new professions that require different skills.” In many companies, more and more people are aware of the need to human aspect of business. In some companies, the CEO is even called the chief empathy officer, or chief emotion officer, to demonstrate how powerful the ability to empathize with fellow humans really is.