Its not a pressing issue for many clients of ours at the moment, but its a growing one.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is on the rise in many aspects of working life and service provision. Major retailers already use warehouse robots, and some social care providers are beginning to trial their use. AI led machines are a growing part of the workforce now for many companies, and this is only going to increase in the years to come.
A recent article by XpertHR prompted us to start thinking what this might mean for our clients.
Robots already undertake manual tasks, and have been part of manufacturing lines for decades - but the rise of AI has seen them enter the realms of things like customer service and more recently social care. Various local authorities have introduced AI agents into frontline customer service, and Southend-on-Sea Borough Council are trialling their use in social care. And in both of these latter examples, the AI agent is making decisions based on its intelligence - what it has learnt and experienced.
The XpertHR article asks the question as to who is ultimately responsible for owning the outcomes delivered by the AI agent, stating that it should not be the IT department and instead should be the owner of the business line, whether that be customer service, or human resources, or some other function.
We'd agree with this. IT can provide the infrastructure, but isn't responsible for the decisions made or services delivered.
We also agree with the assertion that these AI agents will need to operate as part of a team, and will impact team dynamics, and communication in the workplace. And as these are areas in which we often advise clients anyway, these are also now beginning to incorporate how to best integrate AI into working practices and day to day leadership and communications.
Team dynamics, communication and leadership can be difficult with just humans. Getting a team of "just" humans to deliver exceptional teamwork and service can also be tricky. Adding AI into the mix might make it even trickier.
But we're here to help. Give us a shout and we can talk you through how to improve your team and service, whether its "just" humans or includes AI.