In the era of generative AI, people in organisations play a crucial role in leveraging this technology and driving its impact. During a panel at the 2023 World Economic Forum's Growth Summit, Professor Richard Baldwin, an economist and professor, said "AI won't take your job, it is somebody using AI that will take your job”, and here are four reasons why people are, and will remain, important:
While generative AI can automate a significant portion of business activities, it thrives when combined with human expertise and collaboration. Human employees bring unique cognitive abilities such as creativity, critical thinking, and complex problem-solving that can enhance the capabilities of AI systems. By working together with generative AI, people can leverage their domain knowledge and experience to make more informed decisions and drive innovation.
Generative AI systems require ethical decision-making and responsible governance to ensure their appropriate use and minimise potential biases. Human involvement is essential in setting ethical guidelines, determining appropriate use cases, and ensuring AI systems do not infringe on ethical boundaries. People in organisations can provide the necessary oversight and ensure that AI algorithms are aligned with organisational values and societal norms.
While generative AI algorithms excel at processing large amounts of data and identifying patterns, human judgment and intuition are still vital for complex decision-making processes. Humans bring a contextual understanding, emotional intelligence, and a nuanced understanding of organisational dynamics that are crucial in navigating complex situations that may involve ethical, social, or strategic considerations.
Adaptability and creativity
Generative AI systems operate within the constraints of existing patterns and data. In contrast, human employees can think creatively, adapt to new challenges, and find innovative solutions outside existing patterns. People can generate new ideas, challenge assumptions, and bring fresh perspectives that can lead to breakthrough innovations and competitive advantages.
These are four of the many reasons why people in organisations remain important and complementary in the era of generative AI. Professor Baldwin also said, "AI is essentially wisdom in a can and it's giving more power to all workers, but especially those average workers".
- Enabled by gen AI, driven by people | McKinsey
- What is Generative AI & Why is It Important? And AI for everyone | Accenture
- People Strategy in the Age of Generative AI | BCG
- Why Robots won’t steal your job | Harvard Business Review
- AI Early Adopters Are Your Biggest Asset – Don’t Let Them Leave You Behind |Oliver Wyman Forum