AI in the workplace – Should employees & employers fear or embrace this change?

In the year 2023, AI has taken the world by storm. People all over the globe have started to dabble in this new playground using one tool or another. From creating AI-enhanced imagery on Vana to writing speeches to drafting business plans on ChatGPT, everyone in today’s society has used AI in one form or another.

AI is becoming increasingly common and has slowly crawled its way into the workplace, creating a mass concern among employees about whether or not it will influence and/or replace the need for workers in the future.

Addressing Unemployment Concerns Amid Technological Advancements

With an unemployment rate currently at 32,9% in South Africa, this is a genuine concern.

In an article published by McKinsey, it states that “In about 60% of occupations, at least one-third of the constituent activities could be automated, implying substantial workplace transformations for all workers.” But is this the case?

According to Forbes, “By the end of 2025, the technological progress may create 12 million jobs more than will presumably be displaced.”

Embracing Change

People tend to be fearful of the unknown, new technologies and ideas that have the potential to change the future of labour and the labour market. Still, we have experienced similar changes in the past, and one thing we can note is the NEED for businesses to move forward with the technological advances the times bring.

A sad reality is that if businesses refuse to adapt and modernise, they may face the harsh reality of closing their doors for good.

We can also note that currently, AI cannot show emotional intelligence or empathy, and it’s not intelligent enough for creative, “out of the box” thinking. Thus, it does not demonstrate any distinct features of human creativity, insight, and contextual awareness, which are critical factors in a workplace.

AI and Human Synergy

The facts remain that AI is a simple set of tools that organise, structure and analyse data collected from various sources that businesses have access to, but someone still needs to input specific keywords and/or phrases for it to search and analyse; it cannot operate on its own. Companies and businesses that combine both human intellect and AI in the near future will find themselves in a win-win situation.

We look forwards to seeing how this area develops and its impact on the workplace… If you would like to speak to us about the legal implications of AI or would like to find out more about how it may affect your workplace, then please contact Invictus Group on 0861 737 263 for us to assist you.