Artificial Intelligence offers Millennials exciting opportunities to deliver extraordinary value to their employers and customers.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) can enable us as employees to work in a vastly more efficient and productive way to any working generation before us. Current roles are being redefined, offering jobs which contain variety, less autonomous tasks, and a range of experiences – all things Millennials look for when choosing a career. BUT, to take advantage of these opportunities and effectively work with AI, we have to get down to the nitty gritty and really understand what AI is and the benefits it can deliver.
What is AI
So what is AI? Today, artificial intelligence refers to machines which use real-time data to learn and interpret the world around us in an intelligent and human way. Big data (what the data boom is called) is largely fueling the AI frenzy. It is the information enabling machines to learn and become ‘intelligent’. To give an example of AI today, a machine has been developed that has the ability to take a legal problem, sort through thousands and thousands of case files online, figure out what’s relevant, and reply with an answer, all in less time than it takes to order your coffee in the morning.
Two broad categories exist Narrow AI and General AI (called Artificial General Intelligence or AGI). Narrow AI depicts machines which can think similarly to humans, even better than humans in some cases, but only about one single topic. Image recognition is one such example, which allows machines to learn the differences between objects. For cat lovers out there, a Google AI began learning how to differentiate between objects and cats, allowing it to effectively search for cat videos (and provide you with your daily dose of cat goodness). For businesses, this type of AI is being used in self-driving cars to identify objects and potential hazards. Technology such as this is enabling us to automate activities opening up more time to focus on the more important/engaging tasks.
Artificial General Intelligence applies to machines that can think or learn about a general range of topics comparable to humans. There has been one claim by a company called Kimera systems, who say their AI Nigel is generally intelligent (yet to be proven). During its closed beta, Nigel began learning and mimicking human behaviour, such as turning the phone on silent when at the movies, and also rejecting any calls for the user when on a date (no more awkward moments when your date’s phone rings and you sit silently to see if they pick it up!). In collaboration with this technology, we can be capable of anything, from easily diagnosing deadly diseases to optimising customer experience whilst sitting on a beach in Hawaii sipping on a margarita.
To enable continuous improvement, artificial intelligence machines learn through a concept called Machine Learning. In a sense, this enables the machine to create its own brain (coined neural network), enabling it to develop its own perceptions of the world, and identifying the most efficient way to do certain tasks. Confined to a single activity or not, these artificially intelligent machines are able to process and interpret large sums of data, and provide unique value to both the business and the employees working with it. We have probably all heard of a chatbot, but have you heard of a dadbot? Well, if you haven’t, a dadbot emulates your father, the way he speaks and talks and all the quirks that you’ve come to love and appreciate (or just endure…). Why am I explaining this to you? Well, the dadbot is an example of machine learning. Audio recordings captured before the creator’s father passed away, enabled the dadbot to learn, and when spoken to, responded in a realistic/human way. Although not business focused, this dadbot shows that machine learning and AI is becoming better and better at replicating the way we interact with each other. By continuing on this path, we are opening up new and exciting ways to communicate and interact with our customers and our employees.
Implications for Millennials
There is a feeling of excitement and a feeling of fear amongst all Millennials with regards to the effects AI can have on their career. The prospect, that not only labour intensive, but professional occupations have the potential to be automated can be daunting for anyone. But, what this does mean is that our generation of professionals will be unlike any other. AI will enhance employee capabilities, the satisfaction felt from delivering quality work and adding superior value to our customers. It will afford millennial employees more time to focus on upskilling, productively contributing to the workplace, deepened customer management, innovation and the management of teams. All in all, it will take us to the next step in understanding our customers and our own limitations, and enable us to achieve groundbreaking success.
Preceding generations may find AI to be a means-to-an-end, but for us millennials, it is the tool that we will work with for a large portion of our careers. By understanding it, and not being afraid of the potential it has, we will be able to achieve things that would not have been imagined by any generation before us. This is the era of optimum human potential – are you ready?
If you are keen to work with AI, or even better, be on the forefront of its widespread business adoption, then visit our careers page.