Over-Automation is Making Everyone a Broken Machine!


Artificial intelligence has become an all-pervasive buzzword for businesses over the past few years. Everyone wants to know how AI will help them achieve their goals, from high-level employees to companies. Most people don’t realize that AI’s applications run much deeper than most people associate AI with, the typical chatbot or recommendation algorithm. In fact, AI is helping small businesses grow in some convenient ways.

But there is a problem with over-automating processes.

AI is designed to automate specific tasks. Many of these tasks can be time-consuming and tedious, or simply repetitive. These tasks can add up even for businesses with just a few workers. When companies are managing just a handful of people, it can be almost impossible to automate specific tasks due to the difficulty level of the task and the level of precision required. For example, if a person is tasked with copying 20 pages of paper, it would be impossible to reduce the amount of time it takes to get that job done by a factor of one hundred. Humans make certain decisions or perform certain tasks to save time and add efficiency to the processes. These tasks need to be split up into smaller components to make the automation process more efficient. However, there’s one problem with automating processes with humans: employees lose trust in their colleagues.

Use technology for efficiency, not for the replacement of humans

Although these cases are extreme, artificial intelligence can be highly inaccurate. As humans, we often overestimate the accuracy of artificial intelligence. Because of this, AI is being applied in different ways to help with processes that involve humans. The last time I talked with your mother on Facebook Messenger, she didn’t care who I was. However, she was interested in the opportunity to save money on her cell phone bill. With the help of chatbots, your mother can save money every month. Although chatbots may be convenient for your mother, this technology has a long way to go before your mother trusts AI's decisions.

Automate what can be measured and what does not add value

While these examples are extreme, the fact is that people often turn to a human for their advice. Sometimes, people will approach their co-workers or a coffee shop barista. This is why artificial intelligence needs to be designed to understand human language. Humans can understand things in context a lot more than computers can.

The key is to find better ways of working

With the right balance of human and digital, you can create a workforce that no longer has to be held hostage by its own time-wasting habits.

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