AI, or artificial intelligence, has been improved rapidly over the last ten years. There is both anxiety and excitement surrounding the idea of AI replacing human employees. While AI can make it easier to scale a company without expanding hiring, there is also a significant amount of fear regarding its potential to reduce the number of jobs available to living, breathing workers. However, while many major companies are making use of AI in today’s digital landscape, they are also hiring live personnel at higher rates, exemplifying the benefits of the partnership between AI and the human workforce.
According to Forbes, this partnership is especially evident in the social media world. Companies like Facebook are investing heavily in AI development, and are very vocal about the AI-driven futures of their companies. However, Facebook also employs a growing staff of over 15,000 community moderators.
So why hire humans?
When AI can be used to filter potentially offensive words and phrases, and automatically penalize the accounts of those responsible, why is Facebook still hiring moderation staff at such a steady pace? The truth is that AI, which is rapidly developing, is still far less capable than humans. As Forbes points out, while it may be exciting that a program can recognize an image of a dog after being fed thousands of similar images, a small child can recognize the same animal after only a few hands-on experiences.
While AI is proficient at sorting through text, it has many limitations when it comes to “reading” images, relying on image metadata that is often manually input. AI is also lightyears behind human employees when it comes to recognizing and dealing with emotion, sarcasm, and subtext. Because of these limitations, it is unlikely that artificial intelligence will be able to replace the human workforce any time in the near future.
A Beneficial Partnership
So how can AI benefit companies today? Using AI in tandem with traditional employees can greatly bolster productivity by sorting through large quantities of content and automating mindless but time-consuming tasks. AI and the human workforce are really at their best when coupled, as the AI makes an employee’s job easier and faster, while staff members can supplement the black-and-white findings of AI with their superior cognitive skills and emotional intelligence. Overall, both have an important part to play in the future of business, and it is clear that they will only become more intertwined and sophisticated in the coming years.