Orr Rachlevsky of NICE discusses why attended automation may be a rising force contributing towards future job equality.
Questions about future job market equality are becoming increasingly pressing as optimistic recovery predictions seem to be collapsing into the second rising wave of COVID, readying itself to hit the global economy yet again.
Global financial institutions now warn that global economic recovery from the COVID pandemic is fragile and patchy. Risks of prolonged economic scars are rising, and the ascent to a full recovery will likely be long, uncertain, and uneven, thus exacerbating existing economic inequality trends.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) 2020 Future of Work report, released on October 20th, adds an angle to this story. It predicts that a “robot revolution” will create 97 million jobs worldwide but: “As job creation is starting to lag behind job destruction, it is poised to affect disadvantaged workers with ferocity.”
By 2025: “Half of all work tasks will be handled by machines.” Only two years ago, the WEF also predicted that robots: “Will create more jobs than they displace.”
Change is being accelerated and amplified by COVID and the economic downturn. When WEF asked 300 of the world’s biggest companies, who between them employ eight million people around the world, about their planned business adaptation in response to COVID, 50% mentioned “accelerated automation of tasks”.
This emerges as the leading response after the obvious responses of ‘increased usage of digital tools and video conferencing’ and ‘more opportunities to work remotely’.
WEF emphasize that the most relevant question to businesses, governments and individuals is not to what extent automation and augmentation of human labour will affect current employment numbers, but under what conditions the global labour market can be supported towards a new equilibrium in the division of labour between human workers, robots and algorithms.
Attended Automation stands out as key to this future. Attended Automation listens to the activity on the employee’s desktop, understands what is going on, and intervenes at the right moment, to save time, reduce errors and provide guidance to assist the employee with their daily tasks.
Attended Automation is about the complex and interactive relationship between humans and algorithms for the benefit of customers. Desktop robots don’t threaten to eliminate jobs, but rather help human employees to perform better at work.
This ultimately adds value to the employee, the organization and the end customer.
Moreover, Attended Automation can play an important role in countering economic inequalities, between the wealthy or highly educated and the average worker, largely exacerbated by the pandemic. Most attended automation use cases reside within the enterprise’s customer operations department.
Desktop robots assist and augment the average, mid-skilled workers, by taking over all the repetitive admin-driven tasks, freeing up human employees to focus on what humans do best – problem solving and human empathy.
With Attended Automation playing this central role, predictions about the ‘hollowing-out’ of the job market may be proven wrong. Attended Automation therefore has the potential to be an important counterforce against rising economic inequalities following the current pandemic-induced economic crisis.
To materialize a stronger future job market with better economic equality, businesses, governments and individuals need to take action.
For one, they need to train Process Automation Specialists, a role that is already within the top 5 jobs that is enjoying fast growing demand, according to the WEF, together with Data Scientists, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Big Data, and digital marketing specialists.
Additionally, employees need to be upskilled and better acquainted with interacting with desktop bots as a part of their daily routines.
A workforce who truly excels in interacting with bots by refocusing their attention on developing greater emotional intelligence and problem-solving skills will thrive in the future job market.
As the recognized leader in Attended Automation, NICE is well-positioned to shape the emerging, complex future of work. They believe this change must be driven by and based on a solid ethical framework of considerations.
NICE agree with the WEF’s conclusion: “The current moment provides an opportunity for leaders in business, government, and public policy to focus common efforts on improving the access and delivery of reskilling and upskilling, as well as signaling the market value of learning that can be delivered through education technology at scale.”This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of NICE – View the Original Article
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