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Artificial intelligence (AI) is a boon to modern workforces.
AI can handle mundane and repetitive tasks across the organization, freeing up people in HR, IT, marketing, and more to exercise creativity, solve complex problems, and otherwise focus on getting impactful work done.
In other words, AI allows modern knowledge workers to focus on the most engaging parts of their jobs, while making their companies more productive and effective.
Check out these 21 examples of AI-powered software tools to learn more about how AI is transforming the workplace for the better.
Filling open positions is often time-consuming, expensive, and frustrating.
It’s one of the areas where AI is already making a huge impact. HR departments, recruiters, and hiring managers are taking advantage of many different types of AI-powered tools to improve the hiring process for everyone involved:
There are a lot of tasks that knowledge workers spend time on that provide little—if any—value.
For example, say you need to schedule a meeting to get consensus on a decision before moving forward, but you need five people to join the meeting. It’s easy to spend a ton of time sending email back-and-forth or finding an open slot on everyone’s calendar.
That’s not the most rewarding use of your time for you or your company.
Tools like X.ai give employees AI-powered personal assistants that perform administrative tasks like scheduling, rescheduling, and cancelling meetings.
Recording, transcribing, and distributing meeting notes is another inglorious—yet often helpful—use of time.
Personnel on the teams that provide employee support have their hands full with other responsibilities, too. HR teams work on building the kind of company people love working for. IT maintains the company’s network and keeps data secure. Office managers frequently run big events like holiday parties.
These tasks are crucial, but they’re often hard for teams to focus on because they’re busy answering routine questions. AI service desks like Spoke allow employee support teams to balance their service commitments with other important responsibilities by reducing interruptions from rote, repetitive requests.
Employees can ask Spoke for whatever they need over Slack, email, SMS, and the web. Spoke’s friendly AI will automatically provide a prompt response.
If Spoke doesn’t yet know the answer to the employees question, Spoke intelligently assigns the request to the right team in the organization. As human support personnel resolve these requests, Spoke learns and gets even more helpful.
AI is also transforming workplace communications by allowing employees who speak different languages to easily understand each other in near-real-time conversations. Skype Translator’s AI automatically translates for both parties in a conference call:
AI-powered chatbots help with external support as well. Just like with internal support tools like Spoke, these chatbots learn from real marketers, salespeople, and customer service reps and are eventually able to answer questions as accurately as a knowledgeable person.
For example, Kayak’s chatbot for Messenger helps customers plan their vacations. It books flights, hotels, and cars, highlights destination attractions, and even provides answers to questions like “Where can I go for $150?”
GrowthBot mines company and public data to provide quick answers to all sorts of marketing-related questions. For example, if you need to know which of your blog posts are the most popular, ask GrowthBot and get the answer without having to scan through Google Analytics reports. If you want to find specific types of customers in your CRM, ask GrowthBot, and it provides a list of exactly what you need.
AI coaching tools first learn by observing how different employees conduct specific tasks. Then these tools can walk new employees through how to complete those tasks—or even coach existing employees on how to do things more effectively or efficiently.
Chorus is a great example of this technology. It analyzes sales calls while they happen, offering tips to help sales reps manage the cadence of meetings and use the most effective messaging. It also records all sales calls and compiles statistics for each sales rep, providing everyone with the tools they need to help them close more deals and conduct more effective calls.
Another example is Cogito, a tool that combines AI with behavioral science to help customer service employees provide better phone support. It monitors calls for voice signals, providing real-time suggestions to representatives on how to improve the conversation.
It’s hard to run a competitive business today without data. But even massive amounts of data are useless without a way to transform that data into valuable insights. That’s typically why you’d want to hire a data scientist—which just happens to be one of the most difficult roles to fill.
AI helps companies make use of their data even without a data scientist on staff.
Have you ever taken a call from your bank to find that someone used your debit card fraudulently? Most likely, your bank used some form of AI to detect the fraudulent transaction and decline it.
Applying the same basic technology to business data helps identify security risks and keeps customer, employee, and company data safe. AI-powered software can automatically detect and address threats among thousands or millions of signals that humans would never be able to parse (especially not in real-time).
Here are some examples:
AI isn’t just transforming the workplace for office workers. Its benefits span all sorts of industries and occupations. Perhaps one of the best examples is IBM’s Watson.
In education, Watson helps teachers identify the learning styles and preferences of each of their students, helping them build personalized learning plans.
In healthcare, Watson gives oncologists better tools to use while treating cancer patients. It processes reams of cancer-care data from many disparate systems to provide doctors with personalized treatment ideas and recommendations for each patient.
While AI is transforming the workplace in many different ways across every industry, it’s impacting productivity most of all.
When you don’t have to scroll through calendars to look for open meeting times, build reports in spreadsheets to look for insights, or spend your day answering the same questions over and over again, you’re more productive.
Workers are freed from redundant and mindless tasks, giving them more time to do work that matters, solve problems, and exercise their creativity.
Some tools use AI to specifically monitor and boost productivity. For example, Deloitte’s LaborWise provides company leaders and managers with productivity analytics that help them identify areas where labor costs are too high, impediments that slow people down, and departments that need additional staff.
In their 2017 report on the future of work, researchers from Deloitte wrote that “while tasks are being automated, the ‘essentially human’ aspects of work are becoming more important.”
“While some will dramatize the negative impacts of AI, cognitive computing, and robotics, these powerful tools will also help create new jobs, boost productivity, and allow workers to focus on the human aspects of work.”
Essentially, automation frees companies and their employees up to be more empathetic, to focus on things like the customer experience, employee engagement, and workplace culture.
The final way that AI is transforming the workplace: it’s making it more human.
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