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AI to take over all aspects of modern working life

By Barry He | China Daily Global | Updated: 2020-01-17 10:35
A student tries Hyphen's AI-enabled learning system at a brand-upgrading conference in Beijing earlier this year. [Photo provided to China Daily]

When the first print typewriter came into mass production in the 19th century, it revolutionized the workplace.

It freed the workforce from the mundane task of copying out handwriting for mass letters, and it increased the potency of business communication

The innovation hugely diversified the workforce and increased the level of basic education in the Western world.

Paradigm-shifting innovation comes along once in a while, and, just as in the 19th century the print typewriter has such an effect, in the 21st century, artificial intelligence is introducing itself as a boon to the workplace.

AI is able to handle the repetitive and boring tasks that may be simple but time consuming for humans to do.

AI is less likely to make a mistake and frees up company budgets for time and talent. Chances are, no matter what your job is, your profession is in some way related to or operationally involves HR, IT, and marketing. All of these are areas where AI is making a huge impact. To a lesser extent, your work may also involve solving complex problems and creatively thinking of solutions. These areas too are fields that AI applications are also being developed for. Maybe, your work requires you to produce something people would consider art. AI may now start to be in a position to aid you with this, too.

Staying organized is important, and, as amazing as our brains are, mistakes do happen. Human error is estimated to cost the United Kingdom and United States markets a mighty $57 billion a year. Personal assistants can help workers with this issue. However, this is a costly and time-consuming service that is usually only reserved for senior company workers. AI is starting to provide solutions.

Tools such as allow employees access to AI-generated personal assistants that perform basic administrative tasks, organize meetings, and transcribe notes. Software is cheaper than hiring another employee to do this, and employees at any level could benefit.

Managing meetings is very time-consuming, but communicating in an increasingly international world also provides linguistic hurdles. Translating is another human service that remains costly and is taxing on the translator. It is so challenging that live translators sometimes work in pairs, with one partner effectively switching on or off every 30 minutes to give the other a break. AI live translation services that translate words in real time, such as Skype Translator, will be a game-changer for remote working and conference call productivity.

Staff training and sales method improvement are also areas of interpersonal work where AI products have been helping in recent years. Staff training software, such as Chorus, analyzes sales calls in real time and offers tips to help sales reps improve their ability to hold an important conversation and close a deal. It is only in the last few years that AI has reached the point where it can comprehend and process such complex data sets and social nuances.

It seems that, with time, AI's exponential increase in sophistication will mean that it will soon be able to aid us in more and more aspects of our working lives. Even in the world of art and creativity, an industry that seems almost an antonym to the world of cold computing.

Algorithms, such as Google's PoemPortraits and Ai.Da (which has a physical body complete with eye and paintbrush arm), have attracted huge public attention and have had their own gallery exhibitions. In 50 years' time, it might be common for art snobs and socialites to discuss the latest work from their favorite algorithm software. It seems that AI is not only here to stay and improve our daily toil, but perhaps even do so beyond our own working imaginations.

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