Artificial Intelligence (AI) vs Human Touch: The Implementation of AI in the Workplace

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Home > Articles > Artificial Intelligence (AI) vs Human Touch: The Implementation of AI in the Workplace

 Artificial Intelligence (AI) vs Human Touch: The Implementation of AI in the Workplace

Andrew Chan | Today's Manager
September 2, 2019
The implementation of AI in the workplace will soon replace the human touch and jobs might cease to exist.
 
Implementation of AI in the Workforce
An essential part of technology in the 21st century, AI is the area of computer science that aims to create intelligent machines that can help in speech recognition, learning and planning, as well as problem-solving through the ability of having these machines learn from experience, allowing them to work and react like humans. 1 These intelligent machines interact with the environment and build their knowledge on identifying sets and patterns of algorithms before classifying them into sets of numerical input and output examples, then generating suitable outputs for varying situations from the classification. As we gain more knowledge about AI and how it can benefit us, we are also spotting an increase in the implementation of AI in workplaces.

Over the past couple of years, AI has become increasingly common in the workplace and Forbes has also noted that with the inclusion of AI when used effectively and adequately, can help to improve productivity, efficiency, as well as accuracy across organisations. 2 In 2019, the inclusion of AI has also been largely discussed across organisations and has since been a strong focal point that companies are improving on. When we talk about the capabilities of AI in the workplace, we think about how these intelligent machines can help organisations make more informed decisions that can help in innovating new products and services. A Gartner report has stated that the inclusion of AI would be able to help generate US $2.9 trillion in business value and recover 6.2 billion hours of worker productivity in businesses in 2021. 3

The hospitality industry is also no stranger to the implementation of AI as the augmentation of AI can help to reshape the way hospitality businesses carry out their processes. Personalisation has always been prided as an important factor in retaining customer loyalty and AI can do exactly that by helping to improve this through tailoring each individual’s experience by identifying personal touches and even choosing the right people in rewards programmes. 4 AI’s ability to collect, retain, and analyse data can also help the hospitality industry by providing relevant and up-to-date information for optimisation of processes. According to an article by Hotel Management, 4 data collected and analysed with AI can be used to improve reputation management by sifting out reviews quickly to enable swift responses, informing competitive intelligence by sorting out information on trends and latest updates, as well as addressing potential updates and maintenance through occupancy data, guest feedback, and self-reported guest data.

Rather evidently, the implementation of any new systems into an organisation will yield both pros and cons that are taken into consideration for current or future planning. This situation would be the same for the implementation of AI into the workplace, would it do us more harm than good, or would the pros outweigh the cons? Research by A*Star’s Genome Institute of Singapore have used AI to pinpoint the root of gastric cancer, which is done by scanning entire genomes through new AI methods that would’ve taken 30 years on a standard modern computer. 5 Specifically, in the hospitality industry, Marriot Hotels in Hangzhou and Sanya rolled out the use of facial recognition check-ins that allowed guests jump queues, as well as cut the check-in process to less than a minute. 6 Although AI can be seen to replace certain tasks and machines would be able to work 24/7, the human population should be mindful to not allow themselves to be too dependent on machines in the 21st century that we live in. As much as creativity is concerned, AI machines would not be able to perform out of what they are trained and programmed to do, making thinking and learning restricted for them.

In a bigger picture, we question if AI is able to provide the human element of touch in its integration. It is important that with this thought, we keep in mind that people still matter, and interpersonal interaction is a crucial point in our existence. As humans, our existence is built on the need to belong in social groups by carrying out social interactions with one another. Through this understanding, we will know that AI will not completely replace humans in their daily operations, for we would still crave for that human interaction and would much rather prefer to be greeted by someone living and breathing.

On the implementation of AI in the workforce, specifically the hospitality industry, we will definitely be looking to witness the increased use of AI to help organisations function more efficiently and effectively. As the society progresses towards a more technology-savvy world, it is inevitable that we come up with machines that could help us carry out lower level tasks that could leave us with more time to manage the bigger problems. It is also worthy to note that the implementation of AI can help to streamline processes that increase productivity, yet at the same time allow employees in an organisation to take this opportunity to explore more creative and intuitive activities. 3

References
1 What is artificial intelligence (AI)?—Definition from Techopedia.(n.d.). Retrieved 29 May 2019, from https://www.techopedia.com/definition/190/artificial-intelligence-ai

2 Marria V, 11 January 2019. The future of artificial intelligence in the workplace. Retrieved 29 May 2019, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/vishalmarria/2019/01/11/the-future-of-artificial-intelligence-in-the-workplace/#13032aec73d4

3 Singh P, 01 March 2019. How artificial intelligence is transforming employee productivity. Retrieved 20 May 2019, from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/329291

4 Redmore S, 16 July 2018. 6 ways artificial intelligence is already impacting hospitality. Retrieved 29 May 2019, from https://www.hotelmanagement.net/operate/6-ways-artificial-intelligence-alreadyimpacting-hospitality

5 Teng A, 06 May 2018. The big read: The rise of AI, and how lives will be forever changed. Retrieved 29 May 2019, from https://www.todayonline.com/big-read/big-read-the-rise-of-AI

6 Jim C, & Jourdan A, 11 July 2018. Check-in with a smile: Marriott, Alibaba trial facial recognition... Retrieved 29 May 2019, from
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-alibaba-marriott-intnl-facialrecogni/check-in-with-a-smile-marriott-alibaba-trial-facial-recognition-at-china-hotels-idUSKBN1K11B0

IMAGE: 123RF
 

As the Founder and CEO of ACI HR Solutions, Mr Andrew Chan is responsible for establishing the firm’s strategic direction and management in operations. With over 20 years of business experience and has worked with prestigious brands such as Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, and Stamford Hotels & Resorts, Mr Chan brings a broad base of business and hospitality experience to the firm.

 

Copyright © 2019 Singapore Institute of Management

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Today's Manager Issue 3, 2019

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