By the end of this decade, artificial intelligence (AI) will enter businesses en masse.
But unlike prior waves of new technology—which have largely disrupted blue collar and service jobs—recent advancements in AI will a ect all levels of management, from the C-suite to the front line. Picture an organization where AI automates scheduling, resource allocation and reporting—taking administrative and time-consuming tasks o managers’ shoulders. Imagine what AI-assisted analytics, simulation and hypothesis testing can do for decision making, strategy and innovation throughout the enterprise.
AI not only presents unprecedented opportunitiesfor value creation, but also daunting challengesfor executives and managers. It will force themto reconsider their own roles and rede ne the fundamental operating principles currently guiding their organizations. Division of labor will change, and collaboration among humans and machines will increase. Companies will have to adapt their training, performance and talent acquisition strategies to account for a newfound emphasis on work that hinges on human judgment and skills, including experimentation and collaboration. Our survey on the impact of AI on management, coupled with executive interviews, reveals the following:
AI will put an end to administrative management work. Managers spend most of their time on tasks at which they know AI will excel in the future. Specifically, surveyed managers expect that AI’s greatest impact will be on administrative coordination and control tasks, such as scheduling, resource allocation and reporting.
There is both readiness and resistance in the ranks. Unlike their counterparts in the C-suite, lower-level managers are much more skeptical about AI’s promise and express greater concern over issues related to privacy. Younger managers are more receptive than older ones. And managers in emerging economies seem ready to leapfrog the competition by embracing AI.
The promise of artificial intelligence
The next-generation manager will thrive on judgment work. AI-driven upheaval will place a higher premium on what we call “judgment work”— the application of human experience and expertise to critical business decisions and practices when the information available is insu cient to suggest a successful course of action. This kind of work will require new skills and mindsets.
Follow a people-first strategy. Replacing people with machines is not a goal in itself. While arti cial intelligence enables cost-cutting automation of routine work, it also empowers value-adding augmentation of human capabilities. Our ndings suggest that augmentation—putting people rst and using AI to amplify what they can achieve— holds the biggest potential for value creation in management settings.
Executives must start experimenting with AI.
Now is the time for executives to get themselves and their organizations started on experimenting with AI and learning from these experiences. If the labor market’s shortage of analytical talent is any guide, executives can ill a ord to “wait and see”
if they and their managers are equipped to work with AI and capable of acquiring the essential skills and work approaches.
An end to administration as Accenture’s survey indicates, managers across all levels spend more than half of their time on coordination and control tasks, the very responsibilities that are expected to be most impacted by AI . Administrative and routine tasks, such as scheduling, allocation of resources, and reporting, will fall within the remit of intelligent machines—responsibilities that have long been reserved for humans. Many of these tasks will be automated by AI. Survey respondents recognize oncoming changes to their administrative work, with 86 percent saying that they would like AI support with monitoring and reporting. What is more, 45 percent of the managers surveyed would automate such tasks, if possible. Imagine AI writing your monthly reports. It is not a distant dream. Leading news providers and Wall Street banks are now using AI report generators to write news and analytical reports by drawing on quantitative data. The Associated Press, for example, expanded its quarterly earnings reporting from approximately 300 companies to nearly 3,000 with the help of AI-powered software robots— freeing up journalists to conduct more investigative and interpretive reporting.2
A new division of labor
While the prospect of intelligent machines generating investor statements or management reports may seem fairly harmless, their impact will not be limited to administrative tasks. Artificial intelligence is currently creeping into territory once considered exclusive to humans: assessing and acting on human emotions and personality traits.
For example, Jobaline, a job-placement site, uses intelligent voice analysis algorithms to evaluate job applicants. The algorithm assesses paralinguistic elements of speech, such as tone and in ection, predicts which emotions a specific voice will elicit, and identifes the type of work at which an applicant will likely excel.
If AI could absorb and accelerate routine work as well as provide powerful analytical support, what would the next-generation manager’s responsibilities look like, and which skills would he or she need to master? Some of the interviewees questioned whether the manager role as we know it will survive.
if that context changes so quickly and can be uncovered dynamically through advances in technology, then we may not need managers.”
Source : Accenture – Artifical Intelligence