AI integration poses challenge
Australian organisations are increasingly comfortable with the idea of integrating intelligent machines into the workforce but still getting their head around how to get the most out of them, research by IT services firm Cognizant says.
According to Cognizant, 88 per cent of businesses recognise the AI trend as the No 1 driver of business change in the next five years.
Meanwhile, 68 per cent of business leaders who participated in the survey expect their workforce to be prepared to work with intelligent machines in the next five years, and are planning to spend an average of 12.5 per cent of revenues on building capabilities for intelligent machines.
While the survey reflects positively when it comes to preparedness, there is room for improvement when it comes to helping machines and human employees work together.
According to Cognizant, only 23 per cent of businesses feel fully prepared to handle working with intelligent machines and only 38 per cent are confident about their ability to integrate AI with existing business processes.
The biggest hurdle to forging machine-human collaboration, according to the businesses surveyed, is the lack of human talent that’s well-versed in AI.
More than 70 per cent of businesses said they were not only struggling to find candidates with relevant AI skills but also highlighted a lack of training available to enable employees to work effectively with machines.
“While employees can be trained on digital skills, the bigger challenge is defining, recognising and measuring human skills,” Cognizant said in its Humans + Intelligent Machines: Mastering The Future of Work Economy in Asia Pacific report. “One way to address this problem is to focus more on fundamental attributes and behaviours than on skills,” the report added.
Another major impediment highlighted by the survey was antipathy from employees towards AI, as machines could replace repetitive human tasks in the future.
According to the survey, 60 per cent of business leaders believe that employees’ fear of job loss will contribute to the challenges facing a successful adoption. However, testament to Australian businesses’ will to prioritise the human-machine collaboration topic, 53 per cent of them say they are in the process of integrating or at least planning to integrate it into their workforce strategy.