The House of Lords committee has recommended adopting technology would be transformative for business and the economy. The Houses of Lords report revealed the development of ethical artificial intelligence (AI) could provide a beneficial boost to the UK economy. Business and the public need to embrace automation for productivity to improve.
‘AI in the UK: ready, willing and able?’ states the UK is in a “unique position” to develop AI and should “make the most” of its advantage rather than be reactive, provided it is “ethical” in its approach.
Chairman of the Houses of Lords committee, Lord Clements-Jones, announced: “The UK has a unique opportunity to shape AI positively for the public’s benefit and to lead the international community in AI’s ethical development, rather than passively accept its consequences”.
The UK’s ‘productivity puzzle’ has demonstrated the lack of activity in workplace productivity since the recession in 2008. Developing AI into businesses could change this, benefitting both businesses and customers. This is because businesses will meet customer demand, become profitable and see business growth.
The Center for Data Innovation stated “Unless Britain can find a way to boost productivity, social and political crises will increase as incomes stagnate”.
It’s highly important AI benefits both large and small businesses for workplace productivity to improve. If not, smaller businesses could find themselves left behind in implementing technological changes to their firm.
Around 39% of employees believe AI will replace human workers in customer-facing roles in the next 20 years. Businesses and HR must be proactive and change the way they structure work to allow AI to benefit organisations. Humans are important in certain areas of business that require judgement, emotional intelligence and cultural understanding. These are skills that can’t be replicated by a machine.
However, humans who work in blue and white-collar job roles may have to find alternative work when automation is introduced. Businesses may find it cheaper to use AI than to pay labour to complete the job role. A recent report from the Centre for London and EY advises the government to prioritise and help reskill and redevelop workers who have lost their jobs due to automation.
HR needs to adopt a new mind-set before they risk becoming an irrelevance. The growth of technology is providing an opportunity to HR and its important they take steps to tackle it. Organisations need to consider creating capabilities in their HR function so they are aware of how the future workforce will look and how they can structure their business around it.
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