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Automation Is About to Rocket HR Services Out of the Stone Age

Posted on January 3rd, 2018 with No comments

HR Outsourcing Services

By: Tania Fiero, VP of Human Resources

Published By: CEOWORLD Magazine. 

Near-perfect productivity. Immune to drama and gossip. Efficient from morning to night. It’s a profile of the ideal worker. It’s also a list of qualities human beings will never have.

What else do those attributes describe? An “R” word so contentious that it’s rarely uttered in workplaces: robots. Already, sides have been taken by today’s technorati, most notably Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk. While Musk sees a future not far off from that of H.G. Wells’ tripod invasion, Zuckerberg envisions an AI-ushered utopia.

Frankly, neither is likely to happen any time soon. What is happening, however, is that fear and entrenched interests are preventing real conversations around how large-scale AI will reshape the world of work. Dialogue requires honest discussion of facts.


Workforces of the Automated World

Although the utopia-dystopia debate around AI is nowhere near settled, there’s little doubt that business automation will wrest roles from human workers in the near term.

Take the autonomous vehicle. Taxi drivers and truckers have heard Uber CEO Travis Kalanick’s promises to replace Uber’s fleet with driverless vehicles. His company, along with Google and others, have already explored and tested prototypes. In mere years, over-the-road workers may be looking for lives beyond the wheel.

It isn’t just “blue collar” workers like telemarketers and machinists who will be edged out by automation, either. AI is already within spitting distance of a variety of occupations that were thought safe from it just decades ago, such as teachers and paralegals.

Attorneys who once relied solely on paralegals to identify relevant case law and scour briefs can now drop documents into software built with natural language processing and receive pertinent information in seconds. It’s a huge time-saver for lawyers and a relief for legal clients who see their bills bottom out. Deloitte estimates that the legal field will wind up automating nearly 40 percent of current jobs.

Things look similar in the education sector. AI systems are already tutoring students and scoring essays. Although they can’t replicate the warmth of a human teacher — not yet, anyway — they can help instructors focus their efforts on more hands-on work.

What proportion of America’s workforce, exactly, will be displaced by automation? Estimates range from 47 percent, provided by Oxford University researchers in 2013, to just 10 percent, given by OECD researchers in 2016. A widely cited PricewaterhouseCoopers study from earlier this year pegs it at 38 percent.

To some, those numbers are terrifying; to others, they’re thrilling. But what anyone can see in them is workforce disruption on a scale not seen since the Industrial Revolution.


Read the full article on CEOWORLD. 


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