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BizReport : Internet : October 09, 2019


How businesses can prep for more automation

From self-driving cars - and not just on campy television shows - to AI-powered bots that target ads to consumers, there is tech for just about everything in the modern world. The problem with tech, though, is the lack of a human point of content for many.

by Kristina Knight

According to new data out from McKinsey up to 30% of jobs will be automated over the next ten years. And in answer to that many businesses have announced retraining programs to help employees succeed as their current jobs are changed.

"With the widespread adoption of technologies like AI, businesses are finding themselves in need of embracing automation to streamline specific processes and boost profit. Executives are beginning to have a renewed interest in job training as they begin to understand the importance of providing their employees with the proper skills to help them be successful in an increasingly automated world," said Anna Bold, Community Manager, The Tylt. "According to a 2016 McKinsey report, less than 5 percent of all occupations can be automated entirely. According to the same study, 60 percent of all occupations have at least 30 percent of constituent activities that could be automated. This means the gap needs to be filled by humans that understand how to associate themselves and work with automation technologies, forcing employers to provide training programs to stay one step ahead."

How can businesses begin to prepare for these rapidly changing workplace environments?

"Moving forward, businesses will need to take the time to invest in their employees and company work culture. Instead of focusing only on the outcome of day to day business operations, leadership must work to keep ahead of their industry's competition through proper educational training. For example, Amazon announced earlier this year their efforts to ease the effects of automation by training people in positions vulnerable to automation for new jobs across the company. While smaller companies may not carry the same means to implement such training, it's an example set in motion on what can be done to combat automation job loss. Rising labor costs often can't compete with the cost of automated technologies, which decreased by 11 percent between 2011 and 2016, according to Oxford Economics. However, automation poses an opportunity to drive up productivity, creating a number of valuable services and goods for less, all while creating additional jobs by filling the gap," said Bold.

Bold believes that the human component should continue to be a big part of businesses, even with AI for targeting and even some content creation. That is because the human element can keep content fresh, detect elements of sarcasm or annoyance in social media comments, and other things that machines may not detect. That disconnect, especially in the use of chatbots, is already happening, according to Bold.

"I've encountered a number of chatbots used by companies in which I'm unsure whether they are human or bots, which shows how far along technology has come in being able to help people efficiently. However, this isn't always the case. Some businesses, particularly in retail or banking, use chatbots that are only able to help consumers with basic tasks and repeat common questions. Although chatbots aren't fully advanced in 2019, they can help employees by answering the easy questions, which frees up their time to help in more complicated customer service situations that require critical thinking," said Bold. "I believe that experiences with chatbots can be improved depending on the industry and age of those using the business's product or service. However, advancements for this technology must include human nuance. For example, developers will need to consider how chatbots in the future can accurately and successfully pick up on tone and respond accordingly."

More from Bold and The Tylt later this week, including her tips on making sure that businesses are hiring the right people to keep that human connection open.






Tags: automated jobs, McKinsey, online business, SMB tips, SMB trends, The Tylt








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