Workers can learn to love artificial intelligence

Take Google. In the last year the company has scurried to develop artificial intelligence tools for offices workers, called “GSuite” products. But when Google researchers recently conducted ethnographic research they noticed something important: modern office workers tend to make a mental distinction between “core” work (or jobs they “identify with”) and “periphery” work “that does not contribute to their success or happiness”.

Office workers will readily use AI to replace peripheral work. But they resist this for core jobs.

This insight is now “inform[ing] strategic decisions on how AI is integrated by GSuite, Google researchers said. One AI size does not fit all.

Will transcription be “outsourced” to AI? Someone will have to speak incessantly!

Here’s something more interesting:

Separately, ReD ethnographers also observed the impact of AI and digitisation on French medical workers and American insurance salesmen and found that workers are “taking measures to protect the future of their livelihoods” in unexpectedly creative ways. Medical device technicians are rebranding themselves as therapeutic providers of “patient care”; insurance salesmen are redefining themselves as “risk consultants”.

How will the radiologists re-brand themselves?

The write up brings up other issues of “social unrest” and the job displacement it gets. I have a nagging feeling that hospitals are investing in technology to cut on the core products- like “human-powered-radiology” (to expedite the reports, for example) instead of focussing on the innovations in work processes.

Each country has a unique ecosystem and processes. The slack in providing optimal and “delightful” healthcare can be easily managed if there is a will to optimise resources. The high cost of deliverables is usually because of perverse incentives. Cost savings can instead be realised from investing in automating processes (and yes, fire those managers!)

via Workers can learn to love artificial intelligence | Financial Times