One of the most commonly cited fears with the development of artificial intelligence is that AI will eventually replace human workers. From science fiction films that depict AI robots overtaking human civilisation, to misleading reports that predict a massive loss of jobs in the coming years due to businesses taking advantage of artificial intelligence systems and platform, there is certainly a well-documented human fear of becoming inept and incompetent as technology advances. 

However, more serious research find that AI is already creating more jobs that it replaces. One recent report finds that by the year 2020, AI technology will contribute to the creation of 2.3 million jobs, which is half a million more jobs than the 1.8 million jobs that are set to become obsolete due to the advancement of this technology.

Artificial intelligence, then, instead of replacing jobs, is actually replacing old and outdated business models. Just as the arrival of the tractor fundamentally changed how agriculture was done, AI will continuously push industries to change the way they do business. Those businesses and individual workers that willingly embrace the possibilities and challenges that come with intelligent automation and machine learning technology are thus better positioning themselves to benefit.

One of the most exciting yet demanding changes to businesses and the workplace is through the creation of the digital workforce. Instead of an office of cubicles with employees who commute into work on a daily basis, digital solutions allow companies to create a workforce that works together even though they are on opposite sides of the world. Not only does this allow companies to find more effective and valuable employees, but it also improves overall productivity.

The most effective digital workforce, however, is one that also includes different types of artificial intelligence technologies.

According to WorkFusion, a leading company in the world of intelligent automation, “Digital Workforce is the optimal combination of people, RPA bots, and Cognitive bots, typically within the context of a business process.”

While individual people tend to have serious limitation to the speed and accuracy with which they can perform tasks that are important to business operation, bots and other AI technologies tend to suffer from constraints on the accuracy of their judgments. When humans and bots come together to work jointly on one digital workforce, major improvements in overall productivity, and especially in improved customer service, are to be expected.

A digital workforce that incorporates AI technologies will most likely be capable of reducing operational costs through automation. Instead of having employees engaged in mindless, repetitive tasks, AI can free up human intelligence for more important work.

Furthermore, rapid technological advancement makes it difficult for companies to maintain their workforce’s skill level. If workers cannot adapt to technological progress, businesses are obviously left at a disadvantage and can no longer drive innovation. Digital workforces that rely on AI, however, can use those AI systems to both better train their human employees, while also dedicating more difficult and technical tasks to the machine learning systems.

Companies that integrate digital workforces that rely on a mixture of humans and bots will be the best positioned to succeed in the increasingly competitive economy.