How to make the most of AI. Put humans first!

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We recently covered a report by the Science and Technology Committee into the government’s strategy around AI and robotics.

Here, Andrew Cleminson of Agilisys adds his response to the report…

It was very interesting to read the recent report on developing a strategy for digital skills.

Yes, AI systems and robotic tools are changing the way we live and work. No doubt about that. Their use is also challenging us to think again about transparency, privacy and safety. The Committee is, therefore, right to call for the establishment of a Commission on AI to examine its development and use.

So what does all this mean for the future workforce? As with any new tools, they mean change. At Agilisys we’ve found intelligent use of AI can improve things for the better. Software can do the more mundane, repetitive work, leaving people to focus on areas where they can make a real difference.

In short automating some areas of work can improve services whilst reducing transaction times, errors and cost. Lots to gain but does it come with risk?

To some extent “yes”. And it is how we control the way we use AI and robots that is key to how we manage risk. We can do this by carefully selecting appropriate tasks for streamlining and automation and using technology to complete them. People first; technology second.

Will our working lives change? Indeed they will. Software can read and understand emails and work out what needs to happen next. Avatars can manage multiple parallel conversations shortening the time it takes to provide the answers we need. What will we do when technology undertakes these tasks? Focus elsewhere.

With more time to think and act, we can get back to the purpose of going to work in the first place – helping patients, managing benefits claims, processing applications and serving customers.

The good news is there’s everything to play for. Making the most of the opportunities will require digital reskilling – something we are already seeing with the introduction of 1,000s of new digital apprentices into our organisations. Closing the skills gap will really make a difference. I look forward to seeing how the Committee can help us achieve that.

Andrew Cleminson is Business Development Director at Agilisys

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