How AI is shaking up the workplace
The buzz around artificial intelligence (AI) is everywhere - and with good reason. AI plays a pivotal role in many aspects of our lives ranging from Google maps to facial recognition to voice assistants. AI is now ingrained into so many elements of our lives. But at what cost?
What is artificial intelligence?
AI is more than robots. A world with AI is not like what you see in the Hollywood film iRobot which paints a dystopian future where robots threaten to take over our lives. It’s arguably far more subtle and less terrifying than that - rather than a fully formed robot living in your home it’s more like the iRobot vacuum. Small applications that will make a big difference!
Artificial intelligence covers everything from machine and deep learning, computer vision and natural language. It’s the technology behind these applications that makes it intelligent. For many startups it’s a welcome edition as it can aid faster decision making and make it possible to be more agile and efficient. Using technology can help companies grow, optimise logistics, increase productivity and improve the customer experience.
How will AI affect the working world?
With automation there is huge concern that it will take over a swath of jobs. PWC research suggests that by 2030 up to 30% of jobs could be impacted by AI. On the other end AI is expected to improve productivity by 14% which for startups and small businesses is going to have a huge impact.
However, as easy as it is to get caught up in the negatives it’s important to remember that whilst AI can aid cost saving and resource efficiency it can’t replicate humans. A machine can’t apply emotion or empathy or navigate complex issues. For many roles, especially in creative fields this is crucial. According to the World Economic Forum, some 75 million jobs will have been eliminated by 2022 in the wake of the ever-increasing use of AI but at the same time, 133 million new jobs are forecast to be created.
So, we can expect AI to play more of a supporting role.
Can something artificial aid creativity?
The creative world is fuelled by human emotion, empathy and expression. It would not exist without people and is certainly in no danger of being taken over by AI. But AI can assist the creative world by freeing up time and resources - something that many startups are lacking in.
Creativity is currently in more demand than ever. With the boom in social media has come a huge need for content. Everyday millions of pieces of content are uploaded and creativity is key to getting noticed. Of course, for a small team keeping up with major players is almost impossible - which is where AI can help.
If you look at the music industry, we see a massive need for tracks to accompany the likes of social media posts, live streams and videos. Yet, for many, using music isn’t as straightforward as selecting the best song for your content and uploading it. The majority of music is protected by copyright and to use it requires thousands of pounds - something most startups or smaller companies have. Tempting as it is to just use them without permission can result in the content being removed by the platform.
And this issue is set to grow with our online lives expected to grow with the likes of the metaverse. This is where AI generated music platforms like Loudly play a pivotal role; it can generate tracks in seconds that users can choose to suit their content and all without the need for huge costs.
Of course, when it comes to music, machines shouldn’t and can’t replace humans - the power of song lies in the ability to evoke something in the listener, and this requires human context. So, we will still need people to work with the AI music platforms. Some of the ways that people work at Loudly include:
- Music engine developers write the code base for the core music engine to create the actual music to be generated by the AI.
- Music producers for loop-based audio tracks compose several original studio-quality music tracks per month to be added to the AI music system.
- Specialised AI music composers can apply their music expertise to AI systems, including genre-specific song structures.
Like all AI it often relies on humans training it and their input to make sure it continues to be relevant and address the needs of the users.
AI and humans make the ultimate group
We already see that AI applications have the potential to free up our time by taking on some of the more mundane tasks, leaving us to focus on the more interesting aspects of our lives and work. With AI taking on this ‘grunt’ work we will therefore see more importance placed on human attributes such as communication, empathy, leadership and negotiation skills. All the things that a machine can’t replace.
The future of the workplace will no doubt see machines and people working together to improve productivity and efficiency. For startups it’s a great time to make use of the technology at their disposal to aid faster growth and success. The future of the workplace is certainly exciting with AI having a major part in that.