By: Joe Polizzano, Principal
Digitization is sending tremors through traditional workplaces and upending ideas about how we function. It is transforming job roles by unbundling and re-bundling tasks that traditionally constitute a job role. The media frenzy is stirring anxieties about the future of human labor and the prospect for significant job dislocation by automation and artificial intelligence. As the new workplace takes shape in the years to come, insurers will need to wrestle with the content of existing jobs, prepare for greater agility in the workplace, and learn to identify the early signals of change.
With any new notion or theory, there is the truth, and there is hype, and it’s no different when it comes to robotic automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI). But with the hysteria around AI, arises the real need to keep the human element intact—the people behind the strategy that will help keep pace with quicker moving disruptors, or who help design process to reconceive work structure.
While many worry that, at its core, AI is removing humans, it’s actually just reapplying humans and how they work—AI is learning from humans. To back this theory, a Consumer Technology Association survey reports that only 29% of respondents expect job displacement and 68% plan to retain workers by offering reskilling programs to combat the growing trend of AI in business.
When any shiny new object comes into the picture, many put it on the pedestal as the next big thing to solve seriously big problems. What many don’t realize is that AI is not one-size-fits-all and, without the proper backbone for some of its technology, can catastrophically fail.
Several factors need to be in place for AI to work—like leadership at the helm to design the AI strategy or highly qualified employees to feed data to fuel AI. And when it comes to eradicating jobs, AI has to ability to create new jobs—engineers, data analysts, software developers, data scientists, and more. In fact, tech skills in highest demand are software development (63%), data analytics (54%), engineering (52%), and AI/machine learning (48%), according to the same survey.
Any AI-driven process or function will require customization and significant direction from humans, so while the technology will increase the speed and scale of outputs for carriers, it’s the humans that are driving the strategy and ability to do so. Perhaps the most critical element regarding humans and AI is that there are so few qualified composers available to orchestrate AI. Instead of worrying about losing humans to AI in the industry, we should instead worry about too few humans available to support AI.
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