Augmented Intelligence: challenges and opportunities for AI in the workplace

With the exponential growth of artificial intelligence, it seems it is touching almost every part of our lives. Where it will impact us the most is what we do for 8+ hours each day (and it’s not sleeping).

AI has the potential to replace most jobs, empower some, and create others. It is clear with state of the art narrow AI that it performs better than human. However, it is also known that an AI working with a human is better than just the AI. How will this relationship practically manifest in our day-to-day lives?

How will we shift job types, where will AI affect us the most, and what will it be like to work for an AI system?

With the large unemployment rate already present in South Africa, there are clear challenges to replacing people with algorithms; so how can we create productive replacement and enablement of jobs? Shall we heed Bill Gates’ warnings of rapid job loss as a catalyst for the destruction of humanity? Is there a ‘right’ way forward?

With the massive opportunities AI poses to the workplace, how can we realise its potential for changing our lives without changing our humanity?

There are many inefficiencies in the workplace itself AI is starting to disrupt: from scheduling meetings to automatically sending a generated summary to all attendees afterwards. What’s the next disruption? And will you be prepared for it?

Looking to the future, how will we integrate with AI in the workplace? Will AI systems be slaves, the boss, or will Elon Musk’s vision for an integrated biological-AI system (‘NeuralLink’) be practical, realised, and useful?

These questions and related themes will be explored from a technological-psychological perspective that will be relevant for both employers and employees.