Human resources or robot resources? AI is changing how we work, but humans are still essential for success.

Artificial intelligence in business provides several advantages over human employees. AI can work 24/7, process extensive data quickly, perform repetitive tasks without errors and help reduce labor costs. This leads to increased profitability and competitiveness in the marketplace.

Did that sound a little robotic? Time for a confession: we used an artificial intelligence tool to create the previous paragraph. Perhaps the result was a little dry (and slightly threatening if you're a human), but the AI lived up to its promise of being fast, cheap and error free.

AI and machine learning have got many people worried. Programmers fret about the potential for AI tools to automate or replace certain aspects of their jobs. Business leaders are concerned about staff using unauthorized AI platforms. Human resources professionals are caught in the middle — and worried they might have to retrain in robot resources.

If you've survived previous waves of digital transformation, you'll know everything will turn out OK. Here's a quick reality check on what artificial intelligence means for business.

AI isn't coming — it's already here

People can use AI for everything from writing computer code to filling out their self-evaluation forms. Artificial Intelligence will soon become part of everyday life — for example, Microsoft plans to integrate ChatGPT into Excel and Word.

Enterprise leaders now have an urgent task: updating their employee handbooks. Workers need clear guidelines about the appropriate usage of AI tools. You’ll also need to talk to IT about updating cybersecurity systems and training: AI tools are become more sophisticated and can identify and exploit vulnerabilities in computer systems.

AI will transform some jobs

Digital transformation always affects day-to-day operations. Often, this is a good thing, as technology takes over mundane, repetitive tasks, leaving humans to engage with more strategic responsibilities.

For leaders, this presents the opportunity to tweak some team structures and job descriptions and redesign others altogether, identifying where human talent can add the most value.

AI is a partner, not a rival

Most employees don't see AI as a threat. One study found that 60 percent of workers think of AI as a kind of co-worker, helping the team achieve long-term success. AI is also making life much easier for some people. For example, GitHub Copilot helps software developers by offering code suggestions.

This is the best attitude to AI, and a great way to reassure people who feel threatened. Ultimately, artificial intelligence and machine learning are just tools. They can help us work faster and smarter, but you still need people to wield those tools.

AI can't replace human talent

Artificial intelligence is superlative at certain tasks, but it can only "think" in terms of its training data. An AI tool can't innovate or create, so businesses will still rely on humans for fresh ideas. 

Another thing that humans do best is communication. The opening paragraph of this article is a perfect example. While it's a functional piece of text, it doesn't have the empathy or warmth of real communication. Good communication is vital for leadership and team building — not to mention forming relationships with clients.

AI won't replace human talent — it will unleash it. Artificial intelligence will help your people to be at their best, so they can start driving towards your long-term goals.

Ready to start building a team that's ready for an AI-powered future? Explore Randstad's talent database, or get in touch with our friendly (and human) staffing experts.