How Will Artificial Intelligence Change the Workplace?

Rich OrdTechnology

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LinkedIn Influencers provided some advice on the future impact of artificial intelligence in the workplace. "The first thing that artificial intelligence will take over is the microphone on your laptop or computer," said Reid Hoffman, Executive Chairman and co-Founder of LinkedIn in a new 30 second Influencer video.. "What will happen is, it will start listening to your meetings, when you are talking and other things. It will record you in order to help take notes, suggest action items, and suggest other people to communicate with."

"I wrote about this in a recent article in the MIT Sloan Management Review", said Hoffman. In the article, Using Artificial Intelligence to Humanize Management and Set Information Free he says that "we are on the cusp of a major breakthrough in how organizations collect, analyze, and act on knowledge" and he thinks this will bring important changes to business decisions.

"Artificial Intelligence is about to transform management from an art into a combination of art and science," he says. "Not because we'll be taking commands from science fiction’s robot overlords, but because specialized AI will allow us to apply data science to our human interactions at work in a way that earlier theorists like Peter Drucker could only imagine."

"Artificial intelligence, machine learning, chat box, guided conversations are coming at us faster than ever," notes Steve Anderson, President of The Anderson Network and an expert on insurance technology, productivity and innovation. "I think the first functions that will be taken over in an organization is augmenting existing employees and helping them enhance their ability to create a great customer experience. Getting those routine questions answered automatically to free up their time to deal with customers more detailed questions."

"I pray anyhow that it will be in every aspect of my schedule and every aspect of meetings and all the notes taken in meetings and all the followup that can be executed from them, cutting meetings massively and making much more efficiency," says Christopher Schroeder, CEO-in-waiting, Advisor and Venture Investor and Author. "I can only hope that the robots are as kind to me as the executive assistants that I've been blessed to have over the last decade, but we'll see."

"The first thing that artificial intelligence is going to take over in my office is scheduling meetings," says Nicholas Thompson, Editor of NewYorker.com, the website of The NewYorker Magazine. "It's going to take over lots of stuff in the long run, but the first stuff that it's going to get is stuff where the language inputs are relatively simple and relatively contained. That's true of meetings, where you say I'm going to meet with you Wednesday and Friday. That's a complex sentence, but it's something we're close to figuring out. The companies trying to do this, I've used one called x.ai, there not totally there but they will get there. I'll be grateful when they do because scheduling meetings stinks!"

"The first thing that my office AI will take over is customer service," said Leila Janah, CEO of Sama Group, Co-Founder and CEO of Laxmi, and an award-winning social entrepreneur. "It's already taken over things like security, and probably some texting with customer service via bots. I think bots are impacting so many different businesses. I already have a bot that replies to most of my messages. We already have an auto-reply on Facebook to my company page, I'm sure it's going to take over more."

"First thing in my office AI will take over is probably the social media feed," says Ian Bremmer, President of the Eurasia Group. "Let's face it, we spend too much time on it and they will be better at it. They're going to make us look shinier and even more attractive than we already are. They'll optimize for it and we will be able to do other things with our lives. How awesome! That's great... before they take over."

"Let's face it, we are already seeing AI systems improve text entry, thinking about Google's Inbox app where it can predict likely response," commented Azeem Azhar, who is Vice President, Venture & Foresight for the Schibsted Media Group. "I think we will be seeing more of that coming into Gmail and word indexing software. These machines are going to help us compose our messages, either to automate replies or help us to be better writers."

"Email. That's the first thing that artificial intelligence is going to take over in the office," replied Tomasz Tunguz, Venture Capitalist at Redpoint. "I already dictate most of the email I send everyday, and because we can speak about 3 times faster than we can type, it's far more efficient."

"One of the ways artificial intelligence is going to take over my office, is that it's going to replace in some situations coaches, if you can believe that," says J.T. O'Donnell, CEO of CAREEREALISM & CareerHMO. "In career coaching there are a lot of typical situations that people will encounter where they need to have an interaction with a coach and get the information and the feedback they need in that moment. But believe me or not, there are so many of those that are similar that we could use artificial intelligence to engage people through those conversations. I expect to see us use that a lot in the future."

"The first thing I would like it to take over is the sales cycle," said Sramana Mitra, Founder at One Million by One Million (1M/1M). "A lot of people come to our website to find out about us and then contact us whether it's by email or phone or whatever. I think the most productive thing would be to really automate and personalize in a meaningful way, using AI and the application of AI to meaningfully impact the sales cycle."

"I have to believe that the first thing in my office that AI will take over is making phone calls," says Jon Steinberg, Founder and CEO of Cheddar. "Making phone calls is actually the only thing that has gotten worse over the past ten years, whether it's the signal, the process for dialing, everything. I have to think that soon when we want to get in touch with people you will be able to just express a desire or it will look at the documents or processes you are working on and the voice call or video call will be automatically initiated."

Rich Ord