Guest Blog: Andrew Cleminson, Agilisys - 'Automating Work. Humanising Jobs'

As part of techUK's AI Week, Andrew Cleminson, Business Development Director, Agilisys, has provided a blog on 'Automating Work. Humanising Jobs'.

The UK government’s recent announcement of £270m of funding for the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI), is great news. Now’s the time to understand the opportunity on offer and to take the first steps in realising the benefits. Andrew Cleminson, business development director at Agilisys – digital transformation specialist for the public sector - considers the possibilities.

What’s happening?

We have reached a new crossroads. Increasingly, clever software carries out routine admin tasks, reducing the need for us to do these things ourselves. We are all taking advantage of this new capability whether it’s in finding our way to a chosen destination, meeting friends or receiving real-time information just when we need it. Artificially intelligent software has finally become intelligent.

In the world of work, high performance systems are enabling us to provide our clients with better service whilst reducing errors, exceptions, transactions times and cost. Application forms, claims, complaints and requests for information can all be read by software. More importantly, software can understand the language used and work out what needs to happen next. In doing so, it can validate data by looking in other systems, read and process supporting evidence and present agents and case workers with data summaries to help them make quick, secure and safe decisions.

What’s the opportunity?

New capability means new opportunity. The question on most people’s minds is: How do we make the most of it? I’m sure you’ve seen articles stating that robots will replace us and jobs will disappear. As with any industrial revolution, that’s only part of the story. The other side of the coin says that 65% of children entering primary school today will work in jobs that currently don’t exist [1]. And that’s the key point – new types of work are coming and we need to embrace the change and create the digital skills to take advantage of new possibilities.

Where next?

The race is on to work out how to use intelligent and robotic software to our own advantage. There’s nothing wrong with getting it to do the jobs we no longer want to do ourselves. In some cases, it’s simply better as well. Where we’ve deployed our automation tools we’ve found that we can improve business performance by an average of 74%, whilst also making people’s lives easier. Frankly, most people go to work to make a difference rather than sift through piles of paper or emails hour after hour, day after day. That’s where the opportunity lies. Get software to complete repetitive, structured tasks, whilst we manage the ones that need our skill, expertise, insight and empathy.

Agreeing a new division of labour, with our intelligent software friends, will enable us to recast our working lives. As with previous industrial revolutions, we can automate work. This time around we can also humanise jobs. That’s the difference. We stand on the threshold of a new world, one where we can increase engagement, serve citizens better and as a result, attain greater levels of fulfilment in our working lives. Let’s make the most of it.

Go to www.agilisys.co.uk to find out more.

References

[1] The World Economic Forum – The Future of Jobs and Skills, 2016


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