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Shaping The Future Of Work: A Collaboration Of Humans And AI

Shaping The Future Of Work: A Collaboration Of Humans And AI

Article originally published on Forbes (Photo by Ken Ishii/Getty Images)

Since the industrial revolution, business leaders have been leveraging technology to augment human workers with the goal of maximizing efficiency and productivity while simultaneously cutting costs. Now, thanks to the recent tidal wave of intelligent technology advancement, we have suddenly found ourselves staring down the barrel of a workplace that looks quite different than the one we have become used to.

What do automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) mean for tomorrow’s workforce? Will AI eliminate the need for human workers altogether? The reality isn’t quite so cut and dry. In fact, the future of work will likely be a hybrid that involves both human and machine intelligence working in conjunction toward the same shared goals. Let’s explore this in a little more detail.

Redefining The Way We Work

The basic concept behind automation hasn’t changed all that much over the past century or so. When menial tasks can be shifted from human employees to robots, work can be completed faster and without the risk of human error. This dramatically improves efficiency levels, which means a better bottom line for an organization as a whole. And because the output of quality of work increases, service levels also receive a boost, so in theory, everybody wins.

However, automation powered by artificial intelligence has taken this basic concept and brought it to an entirely new level. Now, it’s not just about programming a machine to perform simple tasks; rather, it’s about relying on technology that is intuitive enough to adapt and improve without the need for human input. Take chatbots, for example. This technology is capable of using the data gathered over time from incoming customer inquiries to continuously develop a robust catalog of answers. In other words, the more it’s used, the smarter it becomes.

A New Realm Of Possibilities

Automation will inevitably lead to redundancy in certain roles. It’s only logical to assume that if software robots are capable of performing the majority of a lower-skilled employee’s tasks, it’s a much more economical business decision to shift those duties to technology, subsequently making certain roles obsolete. This doesn’t necessarily mean, however, that we’re doomed to a future of humanless offices. The truth is that while automation may eliminate some jobs, it also creates new roles and opportunities for human workers to pursue.

It’s also important to point out that as far as intelligent automation has come, there are still certain areas where the human touch cannot be replaced or replicated. For instance, a chatbot can be programmed to perform basic customer support, but it is not capable of managing complex situations. Likewise, intelligent automation can be highly effective in identifying ideal candidates for a job opening, but the actual hiring process is still a human-centric function.

Humans And Machines: A Match Made In Heaven

Ideally, the best way to approach the adoption of artificial intelligence in the workplace is to view it from a more holistic perspective. Rather than machines and humans working independently, the two should be working in tandem toward the greater good of an organization. For example, process automation can be leveraged to handle the majority of the mundane, repetitive IT tasks while seamlessly transferring more complex issues to human workers.

AI can also be highly effective in helping business leaders make smarter, more data-driven decisions. Machines handle the data mining process, identifying, extracting and organizing the most relevant information available. Executives can then use this information to more accurately project and plan for the future. This facilitates greater innovation, which means those enterprises who adopt AI will lead the charge in their respective fields.

A New Definition Of Work

As artificial intelligence continues to evolve and improve, the very definition of what we consider to be mundane or routine will also continue to change. With smarter technology, more and more tasks will be shifted to machines. In fact, according to a recent report from Gartner, smart machines and robots could take over the tasks performed by highly trained professionals in such fields as IT, medicine and law by 2022.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean certain unemployment for those individuals working on the front lines. To the contrary, according to one study conducted by ServiceNow, 79% of executives surveyed say they expect an increase in the adoption of automation to lead to the creation of new jobs. Furthermore, an incredible 94% agreed that when repetitive tasks are automated, the demand for jobs that call for soft skills like communication, collaboration and creative problem-solving will grow.

Ultimately, it’s the way human workers approach this technology that will determine what tomorrow will bring. For those who choose to embrace artificial intelligence and all of the opportunities it presents, the future certainly looks bright.

This article was originally published on Forbes as part of the Forbes Technology Council. To read the article in its entirety, please click here.

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

5 Practical Ways Machine Learning is Improving Business Operations

5 Practical Ways Machine Learning is Improving Business OperationsToday’s forward-thinking organizations are leveraging the power of artificial intelligence to automate the decision making process. In fact, corporate investment in AI is predicted to reach $100 billion by the year 2025. As a result of this rapid digital transformation, many changes are underway in the workplace. In particular, there are a number of ways that machine learning is already making an impact for companies in every industry. Here are a few to consider.

Personalizing the customer experience.

One of the most exciting benefits machine learning can have for businesses is the fact that it can help improve the customer experience while also lowering costs. Through things like deep data mining, natural language processing and continuous learning algorithms, customers can receive highly personalized support with little to no human intervention. And people are warming to the idea. In fact, 44% of US consumers say they actually prefer chatbots to human agents.

Improving loyalty and retention.

With machine learning, companies can do a deep dive into customer behavior to identify those who are at a higher risk of churning. This enables organizations to develop and implement next steps designed to target and retain those high-risk customers. The more proactive a company is in this area, the more profitable it will be over time.

Enhancing the hiring process.

When asked about the most difficult part of their job, corporate recruiters and hiring managers almost unanimously list the task of shortlisting qualified candidates for job openings. With dozens and sometimes even hundreds of applicants, sifting through and narrowing down the options can be a monumental task. Machine learning is fundamentally changing the way this process is handled by letting software do the dirty work, quickly identifying and shortlisting those candidates that are the best fit.

Detecting fraud.

Did you know that the average organization loses up to 5% of their total revenues each year due to fraud? Machine learning algorithms can be used to track data and apply pattern recognition to identify anomalies. This can help risk management detect fraudulent transactions in real-time so they can be prevented. This type of “algorithmic security” can also be applied to cybersecurity, leveraging AI to quickly and accurately pinpoint threats so they can be addressed before they are able to do damage.

Streamlining IT operations.

Another way AI and machine learning are revolutionizing how organizations operate is through intelligent IT automation. Powered by machine learning algorithms, agentless automation and orchestration platforms become force multipliers, driving efficiency and helping enterprises save time on manual and repetitive tasks, accelerate mean time to resolution, and maintain greater control over IT infrastructure.

Want to see machine learning in action? Schedule a free product demo today!

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Cybersecurity

The Role of Artificial Intelligence in CybersecurityAn ever-connected world coupled with the widespread adoption of cloud and mobile technologies have made the subject of cybersecurity infinitely more complex. Furthermore, an expanding number of access points and the seeming relentlessness of today’s sophisticated hackers mean the need for adequate network security measures has never been more important. Keeping up with the demand is challenging, to say the least. Artificial intelligence is turning out to be the ideal solution. Here’s how.

Machine learning and artificial intelligence are being leveraged across any number of industries to improve data collection and analysis and enable better business decision-making. Mountains of data can easily be gathered, analyzed, organized and presented to help business leaders understand new trends and optimize future performance.

From a cybersecurity perspective, AI can be utilized as a tool to quickly and accurately identify new vulnerabilities in an effort to mitigate future attacks. This technology can alleviate much of the burden currently being placed on human security workers who are overworked, limited by human capabilities and inevitably prone to error. With a cybersecurity strategy that’s powered by intelligent automation, machines do much of the heavy lifting, alerting human agents only when action is needed. This enables security personnel to allocate their time and skills more effectively.

Think for a moment about your best security expert. Now imagine if he or she transferred that knowledge and expertise to your artificial intelligence and machine learning programs. This would essentially make your AI as smart as your very best employee. Now, imagine the outcome if you transferred the combined skills of your top ten best employees to your artificial intelligence program.

And since this intuitive technology is capable of “learning” and improving all on its own, your cybersecurity plan will continue to get stronger and more effective over time. What’s more, intelligent automation doesn’t make mistakes and never takes a sick day or vacation. That means with AI, your defense against cyber-attacks will remain constant, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. So, it’s like having an army of your very best employees (but even better), constantly monitoring and evolving to provide even better protection.

Of course, that being said, AI shouldn’t necessarily be viewed as a replacement for human security teams – at least not yet. While the technology is, indeed, intuitive and self-driven, it still requires some degree of human interaction in order for it to continue to meet the needs and challenges of today’s organizations. As such, a hybrid approach is recommended, which includes human IT personnel working efficiently alongside the technology to achieve optimum results.

One particular area in which cybersecurity powered by AI can augment human IT teams is through the use of predictive analytics. With this, the technology leverages past and present data to provide security teams the predictive insight they need to thwart attacks before they occur. Essentially, it can facilitate a proactive rather than reactive approach to network security. For those inevitable instances in which threats do manage to get through, intelligent automation can aid in the timely and effective detection, eradication and remediation of successful breaches.

In conclusion, machine learning and artificial intelligence are beginning to play an increasingly important role in how organizations keep their networks and sensitive data secure. In the not-so-distant future, advances in machine learning, AI and intelligent automation will continue to provide newer, better and more effective tools to help savvy organizations stay a step ahead of cyber criminals.

See the next generation of cybersecurity automation and orchestration in action with your very own live demo or click here to launch your free trial of Ayehu and experience the power of AI powered automation for yourself today!

eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response

Intelligent Automation in the Workplace: What it Is and Why it Matters

Intelligent Automation in the Workplace: What it Is and Why it MattersImagine sitting down for dinner in an upscale restaurant, waiting for your food and seeing it delivered not by a server, but by a flying drone. This may seem a bit futuristic, but it’s soon to be a reality in some places in the world. It’s also a glimpse into how automated technology is beginning to infiltrate just about every industry on earth. In the office realm, robots have been deployed for decades, delivering maximum efficiency and productivity at a minimal cost. But what, exactly, is intelligent automation and why should it matter to your business? Let’s take a look.

Intelligent automation takes regular process automation to a whole new level. Instead of merely carrying out predefined steps and processed, automation powered by artificial intelligence is capable of evolving and improving on its own over time. As tasks and workflows are performed, the data obtained during the process is then used to automatically improve how they are performed in the future. Intelligent automation can also help identify and optimize best practices, enabling business leaders to make more data-driven and therefore accurate decisions.

But if technology is capable of being “smart” and intuitive, does that mean it will eliminate the need for human workers? Does this spell the end for the human workforce altogether? Not necessarily. To the contrary, the purpose of intelligent automation in the workplace is to change the way businesses operate by augmenting and complementing human capabilities. In other words, automation powered by AI is meant to make the lives of human employees easier, allowing them to perform their jobs more effectively.

How is this possible? The ideal scenario would see humans and machines working in tandem. After all, even the smartest software in the world cannot yet replicate certain human characteristics that are necessary in business, such as emotion and cognition. Robots, such as chatbots, can deliver basic customer support and deliver quick, efficient answers to general questions but when it comes to complex situations and personal connections, human agents are still the key.

Intelligent automation comes into play where the need for precision and accuracy exist, when tasks are mechanistic, repetitive or even dangerous, and when vast amounts of data are involved. As a result of this new technology, new opportunities have begun to emerge. Thanks to automation, workers can now focus on learning new skills, performing tasks that are more complex, creative or cognitive in nature. The two working side by side ensure that the underlying organization continues to operate at peak performance, leveraging the latest technology and running as efficiently and effectively as possible.

The added benefit of intelligence in automation today is making significant impacts in a variety of industries. Take for example the finance sector. Many institutions are leveraging natural language processing as a tool to identify fraud and improve compliance. Law enforcement officers are applying computer vision to achieve better facial recognition and the healthcare industry is taking advantage of intelligent technology to gain insight from vast amounts of data in an effort to improve patient care.

Ultimately, it can be said that we have reached a point in time when organizations and business leaders must focus their efforts on helping people achieve more with the help of advanced technology. As a result, shift in how workplaces operate will continue to occur. Like it or not, disruption is occurring all around us and only those enterprises that embrace change and are willing to ride the wave – including that of intelligent automation – will emerge on the other side successful.

Want to see our intelligent automation platform in action? Click here to request a demo and experience what a self-driving enterprise really looks like today.

3 Common Misconceptions About Artificial Intelligence

3 Common Misconceptions About Artificial IntelligenceArtificial intelligence has been around for decades, though it just recently became a hot topic in the business world. During this time, many individuals have confused AI with automation, sometimes going as far as using the two terms interchangeably. The reality is, while the general concept may be similar, the two are distinctly different. Furthermore, this confusion has led to a number of other myths and misconceptions.

We’d like to clarify a few things, beginning with the difference between AI and automation.

IT process automation involves programming technology to perform routine, manual tasks based on a prescribed set of instructions. Artificial intelligence takes this concept several steps further by using intelligent machines which are capable of displaying human behavior, thought and decision processes. Where automation is essentially set in stone (unless manually modified), an AI machine increases its own intelligence and can adapt its actions automatically, based on information it receives.

From a business perspective, artificial intelligence has the power to help organizations make more informed decisions. It can extract valuable information from mountains of data, analyze and organize it in a logical manner and essentially close the gap between insight and action. Given its complexity, however, AI is still often viewed in a negative light. To change this, we’d like to dispel three of the most common misconceptions as follows.

Artificial intelligence is a distant dream.

Many people believe that AI is a technology that won’t be readily available and practically applied until many years into the future. The truth is, widespread adoption of AI, both in our professional and personal lives, is much closer to becoming a reality than you may think. In fact, given that so many organizations across all industries and around the world are already employing automation to some degree, the idea that AI could be worked into the mix isn’t all that far-fetched.

Artificial intelligence isn’t really going to make that much of an impact.

The idea that AI is somehow inapplicable in the business world stems largely from the technologies complexity. People tend to discount things they have difficulty understanding. The reality is that AI is not only practical for business use, but it’s incredibly beneficial. The machine learning component of AI means that computers will have the ability to learn without the need for programming. It also has the capability of mining and analyzing big data to extract valuable insights which can then be put into action to achieve better results. These are things every organization can benefit from.

Artificial intelligence is going to eliminate the need for human workers.

While it’s certainly true that AI will make human workers redundant to some degree (think routine, repetitive tasks like reporting and data entry), this technology will not fully replace humans. This is particularly true in certain fields that require high-touch interactions, like HR, health care and consulting.

Likewise, while intelligent automation will streamline and optimize operations for many organizations, it cannot and will not replace the need for the development and nurturing of customer relationships. AI can, however, leverage data to provide human workers with the insight they need to deliver better, more personalized service.

And because implementing and managing new technology will always require some degree of human input, new roles and responsibilities will naturally evolve, which means that for many, AI will present great opportunities.

Like it or not, AI isn’t going anywhere. In fact, Forrester predicts that overall investment in artificial intelligence technology will increase by 300% this year alone. By addressing and overcoming the biggest misconceptions about AI, companies can harness the power of intelligent automation to streamline operations and provide competitive advantage.

Want to see AI in action? Click here to request a demo.

eBook: 10 time consuming tasks you should automate

What is Machine Learning (AI) and Why Does it Matter?

There’s been a lot of buzz recently about so-called machine learning, yet despite so much talk, there are a great number of individuals who are still unfamiliar with this technology. As IT automation experts, the team at Ayehu is already harnessing the power of this innovative concept in the automation and orchestration solutions we offer. As such, we thought it might be helpful to delve a little bit into what machine learning is and, more importantly, what it can do for your organization.

What is Machine Learning?

Machine learning is a form of artificial intelligence which involves an algorithm that learns a pattern in existing data and then uses that information to predict a similar pattern in new data. Despite the recent attention it has been getting, machine learning is nothing new. But thanks to the overabundance in available data and more affordable tools for gathering, processing, deciphering and storing that data, these algorithms can now easily be applied to produce fast, affordable results for businesses everywhere.

Why does it matter?

From a business standpoint, machine learning can facilitate better decision-making in real-time, without the need for human intervention. Essentially, the technology is intuitive enough to “learn” from past events and adapt for better performance in the future based on that information. By leveraging these precise algorithms, organizations can better identify profitable opportunities and more effectively avoid unknown risks.

Who can benefit the most from Machine Learning?What is Machine Learning (AI) and Why Does it Matter?

Businesses in almost every industry can potentially benefit from machine learning technology, but there are several industries for which this technology is particularly useful. Specifically, organizations in industries that require the handling of large amounts of data are already realizing the benefits of machine learning in gaining insight and competitive advantage.

This type of AI can also be highly effective in the area of information security by automating incident response and using existing data to predict and prevent future cybersecurity risks. As such, the businesses that have already begun leveraging machine learning with great results include those that fall into any of the following sectors:

  • Financial Services
  • Healthcare
  • Government
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Transportation
  • Utilities

Not coincidentally, each of these industries also happens to be at a greater risk of a cyber-attack due to the sensitive nature of the information and data they handle on a day to day basis. Machine learning can help manage, store and utilize the available data to streamline operations and improve customer experience. It can also help build a stronger defense against potential security breaches by providing round-the-clock monitoring and automated response for faster, more effective remediation.

How Ayehu is Using Machine Learning

The next generation of Ayehu is a simple yet powerful web-based automation and orchestration platform for IT and security operations that leverages proprietary, sophisticated machine learning algorithms to provide decision support via suggestions to optimize workflows and dynamically create rule-based recommendations, insights and correlations. Agentless and codeless, Ayehu is easily deployed, allowing users to rapidly automate tasks and processes, including interoperability across multiple, disparate solutions and systems from one, standalone platform.

To see machine learning technology in action, click here to request a free demo.

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