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How Artificial Intelligence (AI) will change the role of leaders


Artificial intelligence is taking up more and more space in our everyday lives and is shaping them in the most diverse areas: autonomous driving, chatbots in call centers or the entry of AI into medicine and research. However, the adoption of human thought and action processes by artificial intelligence is also finding its way into companies and can act as a growth driver.

In times of digitalization and big data, decisions and data processing have to be made faster, workflows have to be constantly improved. AI can help companies to relieve them of these processes and to take over everyday tasks. It’s very convenient to rely on AI’s data-based and accurate capabilities for analysis, rather than human resources, to help the company achieve its goals more effectively. The result? A major change in the world of work is about to happen.

For example, Artificial Intelligence is already being used in the insurance industry, where it processes and evaluates customer complaints. Other companies such as Lufthansa, Zalando, Opel or already use chatbots to stay in contact with their customers 24/7 and answer inquiries. In this case, KI takes over standard and routine tasks. The introduction of AI in companies also means that job profiles and tasks will change. New professions will replace existing ones. In the future, for example, the profession of data scientist will be increasingly needed. In contrast, customer consultants or accounting jobs could be replaced by AI.

What role does AI play for managers in companies?

The advantage of using AI to obtain and analyze information and data about a company and its successes in real time is extremely relevant for managers. However, managers should not rely too much on AI. AI provides current data and analyses in a high-quality format, but it remains the task of managers to interpret this data correctly and to decide accordingly.

So the final decision still has to be made by people, but AI helps with decision making and task management. Based on data, AI can suggest possible decisions and solutions – even those that people may not have considered. Even best-case or worst-case scenarios can be called up quickly and reliably with the help of AI. If a short-term change occurs, an alternative course of action is suggested immediately. As you can see: AI relieves and supports, but does not (yet) replace the human decision.

At present, AI can mainly take over routine tasks in companies. However, this can be to the detriment of employees if their jobs are lost through the use of AI. It is therefore important for the management level “not to lose sight of people as employees”. It must be ensured that employees can continue their training in order to learn new skills in handling digital technology and AI and to be prepared for future challenges in the world of work. Creating trust and acceptance for digitalization is one goal, preserving jobs and training employees another.

In summary, AI for executives leads to changes in 6 areas, as the experts of the Future Workshop of the Institute for Applied Ergonomics (ifaa) have shown. AI is changing:

  1. the role of the manager
  2. their decision and responsibility
  3. the handling of data
  4. the corporate culture
  5. tasks and job descriptions
  6. cooperation

So digitization in general and AI in particular are bringing about far-reaching changes. Both managers and employees need to be prepared for these new technologies in order to make the most of them – for the company and its employees.

What else is going to change for managers with new technologies in companies?

Younger generations have different demands on their employer and technology in the workplace than older generations. Companies need to adapt to these changing requirements. The availability of the latest technologies as well as the complete networking of the workplace are expected and demanded. The introduction of mobile technology as well as virtual and augmented reality at the workplace not only ensures that work is no longer restricted to the office, but can be done from anywhere. The distance between company and employee – “of man and machine” – is to be reduced. New possibilities for the company’s business model through virtual and augmented reality as well as AI are to be integrated. Managers must therefore also be up-to-date here in order to score points with the availability of the latest technologies among career starters

About the author

Stefan Schmidt
Senior Account Manager HBI Helga Bailey GmbH – International PR & MarCom

Stefan has been working for HBI since May 2015. He currently serves clients in the automotive IT, electromobility, e-commerce, logistics and consumer electronics sectors. Thanks to his many years of experience in the PR industry and as a promoter, he is an expert for product launches, trade fair appearances and press relations. In his spare time Stefan blogs about the world of spirits, reads comics and scares himself in horror movies.

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