The future of AI in the workplace

By Traci Gusher-Thomas

Artificial intelligence is already permeating our daily lives. From asking a voice assistant for the weather forecast to using rideshare apps to carpool to your destination, AI is increasingly creating more convenient and personalized experiences.

In the workplace, however, AI is just getting started.

Over the next 10 years, our daily work routine will see the same dramatic transformation that we have experienced outside the workplace since the early 2000s. Voice technologies and the presence of AI-powered virtual assistants will become commonplace. While basic tasks like notetaking and scheduling will be handled by these intelligent assistants, humans will take on new responsibilities, such as checking in on their assistants and ensuring they are performing optimally.

Here’s a look at what we can expect in the next 10 years.

2020: The Test Phase Matures

There’s been a lot of hype around AI technologies over the last several years. As 2020 approaches, we can expect to see many of these technologies making their way out of the lab and into full production. This may come in the form of improved software systems to intelligent assistants deployed across enterprises to help humans contact IT and HR. From customer service to fraud prevention, AI will have an impact on how humans complete their everyday responsibilities, enabled by smarter and accelerated insights.

2022: The Rise of Voice Technology

With voice assistants readily available in homes and cars, humans are becoming increasingly comfortable talking to machines. And the workplace is not far behind. By 2022, offices will be outfitted with voice assistants capable of more than just turning on the lights and answering basic questions. For example, these assistants will be used for real-time note taking with the ability to condense, summarize and outline action items and follow up as needed. They will even be able to differentiate between voices and assign responsibilities accordingly.

2025: Governing and Training AI

By 2025, AI will become more integrated throughout organizations, and humans will increasingly rely on AI to perform their jobs at the highest caliber. To ensure their AI systems are operating as intended, humans will be responsible for ensuring these systems understand the appropriate modules and code for the tasks at hand. Furthermore, they will also be required to administer weekly health checks to ensure AI is performing at its highest level and adhering to company guidelines.

2027: Meet Your Virtual Personal Assistant

The workday in 2027 will look dramatically different as work and home life become more integrated and connected through AI. An AI assistant not only will help prioritize emails, it will automatically respond to flagged messages, organize daily calendars, schedule travel and more – much like a personal assistant would do. Humans will be left to high-level work that requires personalized messages, critical thinking and intuition.

 

2030: Virtual Keepers of Wisdom

By 2030, AI-powered virtual assistants will be everywhere and nowhere as they work seamlessly with humans throughout their day.  For example, an AI assistant will be able to constantly monitor news in the background and proactively offer alerts about important developments on regulations or company announcements. But at the same time, humans will always have the option to power down their AI assistants and work independently – or even disconnect entirely.

The Future and Beyond

Beyond 2030, AI may interact with other emerging technologies to transform the workplace. Virtual and mixed reality will be used to test environments and experiences. Holograms will create new ways of interacting with coworkers in remote locations. Implants and haptic suits will enable us to hear and feel things in entirely new ways.

However, this evolution of AI will depend on the trust humans place in the technology and its applications. There must be an understanding of the risks and rewards of AI in order for the technology to reach its potential in augmenting both business and society.

For this reason, “control” over AI will remain an imperative – not only to ensure it behaves according to societal ethics, but to maintain our power to disconnect from technology at any given time.

For additional information or to speak with Traci Gusher-Thomas, please contact Melanie Batley.

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Traci Gusher-Thomas

Traci Gusher-Thomas

Principal, Data & Analytics and AI, KPMG US

+1 267-256-1617


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Media contact

Melanie Malluk Batley

Melanie Malluk Batley

Associate Director, Corporate Communications, KPMG US

+1 201-307-8217