Automation is pretty cool. It simply refers to a broad technology that reduces human intervention in processes, especially those that are time consuming and repetitive. But bots are sometimes seen as a threat to humans. So are they really stealing people’s jobs or are they just automating tedious tasks?
What does automation really mean?
Automation is pretty cool. This buzzword simply refers to many different techniques that reduce human intervention in processes, especially those that are time consuming and repetitive.
That’s why we say it’s cool. It protects us from the mundaneness of low-value, repetitive tasks and gives us a lot of time and resources that we could better spend on more fun or productive things (or maybe just things we haven’t figured out yet how to automate).
Do robots really steal human jobs?
Because of the attractiveness of automation, robots are sometimes seen as a threat to humans, especially their employment. Actually, 37% of employees are worried about losing their jobs due to automation tools.1
But how many of these concerns are true? Although some studies suggest that automation can affect up to 30% of jobs, only 10 percent of them appear to be at high risk for computerization.
Saves time? Save money? Objectively, all companies should strive for it. Doing business at a fraction of the cost in less time is, in practice, the definition of efficiency. However, the idea that robots are replacing people in the workforce may be daunting, it doesn’t seem entirely true.
On the other hand, what the figures show is more of a change in the way we do our work. Artificial intelligence and automation tools work collaboratively with people, not in their place. On the other hand, the creation of these automation platforms and machines will create a significant number of jobs. That is why we are not facing the destruction of jobs, but their complete planning.
Chatbots: Simulation of human conversations
One of the main objects of artificial intelligence and automation has been to teach machines to understand human language. Chatbots are non-software tools designed to interact with users automatically through voice or text messages.
In customer service, this has brought huge benefits. If you’re a little shy, you may find yourself enjoying self-service platforms instead of the typical customer-person interactions. In fact, according to statistics 75% of users find self-service information solutions convenient deal with things they encounter during shopping or others. 91% of them said they would use customized or smart datasets, if available.2
Do we want chatbots to appear as people?
We want to make chatbots look as human as possible – culturally appropriate names, carefully crafted characters, colloquial vocabularies, jazzed-up dialogs to make users feel like they’re a real conversation – but bots aren’t people. Nor are they independent. Have you ever seen Blade runner? Consider it a blessing and a curse.
Forget free will and consider this: bots are missing real intelligence – they know what we are teaching them, which we must inevitably feed with a spoon in limited portions. In fact, because of this, many bots in today’s market have no cost savings at all.
Machine learning, in some ways most robots today are programmed, is somewhat unpredictable so far. It poses dangers when information is incomplete, messy, or biased. Algorithms can simply focus on certain data and reinforce unintentional implicit prejudices, and of course cannot cover everything. A chatbot built using machine learning may not be unable to answer a very simple question because it is simply not trained to tell the answer.
Why machine learning is not always effective
Chatbots are a very good example of this. Most of them rely solely on machine learning and require large amounts of statements and training materials to be remotely effective. A large initial investment is not even worth it, because even if you still have to practice the bot over time, over time you will run out of statements that the bot can learn from – or deviate from.
Inbenta provides a chatbot which works a little differently, offering 90% accuracy from day 1 without training or statements required for launch. Take advantage of our technology Natural language processing more conversation with users. Our goal is not to do chatbots that are better people but better intelligent robots.
You might be wondering what that means? Well, that means there are certain tasks that require human skills, the bot can’t be programmed to solve, and we’re not going to. This is the real reason why robots don’t steal jobs but change them.
The future of work: the unparalleled value of people
Our ability to work with both logic and empathy is an achievement beyond bots. Our creativity leaks our work in a subtle and undeniable way. We can be connected to each other because we are are each other.
We have the joys and heaviness of culture, language, relationships, ethics, and responsibility. Our brains are able to identify and make connections between things that take years, if any, to learn. We learn for ourselves, we do not require supervision, extensive training or debugging. We can be held accountable for our actions and we do not know drain discriminatory Twitter tirates3. These are all qualities we need in the workforce to be able to work with each other and with each other, achieve great things, and do everything in the most efficient way possible.
We may not work 24/7, but those 8 hours a day, five days a week that we replace, and then some.
Bots are sophisticated tools – we build, use and optimize them this way. Cars didn’t teach themselves to drive, just like chatbots didn’t teach themselves to… talk. Behind every bot is a team that works hard and constantly to make it useful and convincing, and there is still a lot of work to be done to make this different “automation” happen.
If you want to learn how to empower automation and increase employee productivity, we’re here.