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AI set to overhaul manager's role – Gartner

By , ITWeb
Africa , 24 Jan 2020

AI set to overhaul manager's role – Gartner

By 2024, Artificial intelligence (AI) and emerging technologies such as virtual personal assistants and chatbots will replace almost 69% of the manager's workload.

This is according to Gartner which claims these technologies are rapidly making headway in the workplace.

"The role of manager will see a complete overhaul in the next four years," said Helen Poitevin, research vice-president at Gartner. "Currently, managers often need to spend time filling in forms, updating information and approving workflows. By using AI to automate these tasks, they can spend less time managing transactions and can invest more time on learning, performance management and goal setting."

The global research and market analysis firm said these technologies "will undeniably change the role of the manager and will allow employees to extend their degree of responsibility and influence, without taking on management tasks."

Application leaders focused on innovation and AI are now accountable for improving worker experience, developing worker skills and building organisational competency in responsible use of AI.

"Application leaders will need to support a gradual transition to increased automation of management tasks as this functionality becomes increasingly available across more enterprise applications," said Poitevin.

Workplace diversity

According to Gartner nearly 75% of heads of recruiting reported that talent shortages will have a major effect on their organisations. Companies have been experiencing critical talent shortage for several years.

"Organisations need to consider people with disabilities, an untapped pool of critically skilled talent. Today, AI and other emerging technologies are making work more accessible for employees with disabilities," the organisation explained.

Gartner estimates that organisations actively employing people with disabilities have 89% higher retention rates, a 72% increase in employee productivity and a 29% increase in profitability.

In addition, Gartner said that by 2023, the number of people with disabilities employed will triple, due to AI and emerging technologies reducing barriers to access.

"Some organisations are successfully using AI to make work accessible for those with special needs," said Poitevin. "Restaurants are piloting AI robotics technology that enables paralysed employees to control robotic waiters remotely. With technologies like braille-readers and virtual reality, organisations are more open to opportunities to employ a diverse workforce."

By 2022, organisations that do not employ people with disabilities will fall behind their competitors.

AI roadmap

Meanwhile, at the World Youth Forum hosted recently in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, experts warned of the urgent need for an 'AI roadmap' in Africa.

Igube Veronica Pana, the Associate Counsel at Technology Advisors ICT Lawyers – Consultants, and also an African Presidential Leadership Program graduate, said nations must be proactive.

"The African continent should also look for a way to ensure that we start developing those guidelines to ensure that we have transparency, fairness and that we protect our citizens' data, to ensure that there is cybersecurity. If we don't have AI guidelines, there is a tendency for misuse, and also for discrimination and bias. This is not to restrict AI, but rather to ensure fairness."

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