Implement AI

Piers Linney and Aalok Y Shukla

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Your augmented workforce has arrived: Human resources x AI agents

Feb 10, 2024
Your augmented workforce has arrived: Human resources x AI agents

If you have not stopped to consider the inevitable impact of your cognitive (and eventually physical) human resources being augemented by AI , this article is going to change your strategic thinking forever.

The dawn of the AI era is not just a technological advancement; it's a paradigm shift that's redefining the future of work. While the narrative often centres on automation and job displacement, the real game-changer is augmentation and the ability to grow without adding cost with a linear correlation to revenue growth.
Very few organisations are already leveraging AI agents—sophisticated systems capable of autonomous reasoning and action—to create high-performing augmented workforces. Imagine having a human payroll augmented by an AI workforce that dramatically improves productivity, profits, your company valuation, human job satisfaction and your ability to recruit talent.

Implement AI, which I co-founded, has published a whitepaper covering the future or human resources augmented by AI.

This article breaks down some of the key insights and you can download the full whitepaper here.


An evolutionary leap in resourcing: AI Agents

AI agents are at the forefront of AI for business innovation. Powered by advanced natural language models, they can comprehend tasks articulated in everyday language, collate pertinent data, and execute intricate workflows with humans in the loop if necessary. Teams of AI agents can communicate, collaborate and challenge each other to optimise performance and complete complex tasks. 

AI agents are becoming increasingly adept at automating monotonous or time-consuming tasks such as data analysis, content generation, customer engagement and transposing unstructured data, such as audio, into structured data. This frees up human capital to concentrate on higher-order functions like strategic thinking, innovation and relationship cultivation.

The arrival of generalist multimodal large language models (LLMs) means that AI agents can not only absorb and analyse large datasets and communicate via text and APIs; they now have vision. They can understand the content of images and video. Until recently, such capabilities required expensive and specialised computer vision machine learning (ML) models. The use cases for AI agents with vision are numerous in organisations of all sizes. 

The five-tiered impact on work

The influence of AI agents is still nascent, but their impact will evolve rapidly across five distinct levels:
Basic Assistance: AI streamlines administrative chores like calendar management and applicant screening.
  1. Task Automation: Agents handle repetitive processes, from invoice reconciliation to social media updates and translation.

  2. Augmented Specialisation: AI assumes specialised functions like predictive sales analytics, customer engagement, and advanced creative copywriting.

  3. Hybrid Collaboration: Humans and AI form synergistic partnerships, leveraging each other's unique strengths to collaborative on projects to achieve a desired outcome.

  4. Autonomous Oversight: AI manages specific, well-defined tasks autonomously, albeit under human supervision.

Read our core whitepaper 'The AI-assisted Organisation: A Blueprint' for our framework and a guide to building an AI-assisted organisation workflow by workflow, and department by department within defined policy and governance.

Workforce transformation: Your strategic approach

As I explained at the beginning of this article, if the concept of augmented human resource was new to you, it should already be clear that to capitalise on this disruptive technology, organisations must re-engineer their operational frameworks and redefine roles. It may even be necessary to redefine performance-based compensation based on productivity if your colleagues are augmented. 

Key strategies involve: 

  • Pinpointing tasks ripe for AI agent automation.

  • Preserving inherently human attributes like strategic acumen, creativity, and emotional intelligence in role delineations.

  • Instituting governance protocols for quality assurance and ethical considerations.

  • Upskilling the workforce for seamless AI collaboration via appropriate training.

  • Transparently communicating AI-driven changes and actively involving employees in the implementation roadmap. 

A McKinsey & Company study found that the vast majority of employers expect over 5% of their workfroces to be reskilled over the next three years due to the impact of generative AI.


Talent development and AI literacy

AI literacy is no longer optional; it's a prerequisite for career progression. Organisations must invest in ongoing learning initiatives to cultivate AI-compatible competencies.
Likewise, individuals should proactively seek to learn how to effectively augment their abilities with AI agents. In this new landscape, the increasing capability of AI agents will be complemented by uniquely human faculties like creativity, ethical discernment, and emotional acumen.
For AI training courses from AI Fundamentals to AI Innovation & Product Design, visit the Implement AI Training Academy.
Your competitive edge is early adoption
 Pioneering companies, such as many of Implement AI's clients, are already reaping the benefits of AI agent deployment. Those who seize the augmentation opportunity now will surge ahead, leaving the late adopters trailing. The future is not just automated; it's augmented.

Is your organisation prepared for this seismic shift? The early adopters are going to be hard to catch in an exponential world where competitive advantage can be created using specialised AI agents as well as more generalist AI that will be accessible by all organisations.

To learn more, read the full whitepaper and download our AI Toolkit here. 
Thanks for reading.