The role of artificial human beings with electronic brains and the capability to make reasonable and intelligent decisions is today one of the realities of the 21st-century organization. Well funded researches in neurology, information theory and cybernetics have given premium to the statement made by Herbert Simon; one of the founders of modern-day artificial intelligence who said: â€œmachines will be capable, within twenty years of doing any work a man can doâ€.
The question is how prepared are we as human resource management professionals in handling this evolving revolution and be better prepared for the challenges of managing organizations in the age of artificial intelligence and robotics?
WHAT IS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE?
This is the capability of intelligent agents such as machines to display or carry out functions such as reasoning, problem-solving, learning, making a prediction, using language and speech recognition.
Artificial intelligence became an academic field properly speaking in 1956 after a workshop in Dorthmount. The workshop primary objective was to fund research efforts aimed at developing intelligent computer-based agents with a behavioural capability and ability to do what human beings can do more accurately and with minimum interference from a human.
THE 21ST-CENTURY ORGANIZATION AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
Landmark achievements have been made in artificial intelligence research that enables it transcends the field of neurological sciences, psychology, computer science, biology and environmental sciences. These studies have tremendously impacted the world of business and the 21st-century organization.
For instance, Watson developed by IBM has played a significant role in the healthcare sector helping with an accurate diagnosis of patients and through its analytical â€œmindâ€ makes prescription of drugs for different ailment including the treatment of cancer.
Also, chatbots have helped in the expansion of customer relationship management and in automotive service delivery such as voice recognition, auto-response, automation of job posting, CV sorting and application management as seen with Gartner and Forrester.
Interestingly too, Amazon Voice-based apps; ALEXA has been shown to have more than 15,000 skills and can perform errand and take action intelligently.
The advancement in robotics engineering should interest us, where robots are assigned to the performances of difficult tasks such as heavy equipment lifting in manufacturing plants, in the construction industry and space exploration.
Generally speaking, Artificial Intelligence has contributed more in transforming workflow processes in the organization and has helped simplify the process of task performances particularly for routine and sometimes specialized functions. It is an evolving phenomenon that is daily being refined to function as intelligent beings and more perfectly too.
Going by current statistics the worth of Artificial Intelligence market globally is estimated to worth 2.42 billion US dollars in 2017 and has been projected to reach 59.7 billion US dollars in 2025. It is a huge industry that we must be prepared to play in as HR practitioners if we must continue to remain relevant.
Let me end this part with a quote from Ray Kurzweil, who says,
â€œArtificial intelligence will reach human levels by around 2029. Follow that out further to, say, 2045; we will have multiplied the intelligence, the human biological machine intelligence of our civilization a billion-fold.â€
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