The Leader Magazine

JUN 2019

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th E l E ad E r JUNE 2019 19 sure the trainers understand both implicit and unconscious bias and that they watch out for it and know how to address it if they find it. Another reason why AI will not replace the human in the workplace is the human factor. AI solutions compute and learn the data to which they have access. They then provide insight and suggested outcomes on that data. But, as IBM executive Harriet Green clearly articulates in a recent blog, "The complexity of human skills like persuasion, creativity, collaboration, adaptability and time management have to be learnt and developed. Yes, AI can augment our intelligence but human decision and action, underpinned by soft skills requiring emotional intelligence, will continue to be important." 2 AI does not have the soft skills that make humans, well, human! They do not have empathy, humour or emotional intelligence; that is our realm. When our AI tools present us with options, we can either agree and act, or disagree and override them with no action. It's also reassuring to know that our IBM research group is teaming with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to explore two ways to align AI systems to ethical principles. This work is part of a long-term effort to understand how to embed ethical principles into AI systems. 3 What does the future look like with ai ? I believe that the future is bright with AI. I also believe that we cannot ignore our responsibilities for creating the best kind of AI. But let's think of the future where all the boring tasks are done by AI, leaving us with time to create and produce; time to be more engaged with our customers. Then, AI will not replace us – it will make us super stars! More productive, more efficient and happier, too. Sounds good doesn't it? If you're thinking about your own AI journey, here are my top three tips based on my experience: Tip 1: Embrace technology. We need to embrace these new technologies; we cannot afford to put our head in the sand and ignore them – they are coming! Rather than be fearful, think of them as a gift – one that will make you much more productive. Embrace the change and use it to your advantage. Start by rethinking your role. What would your job look like if you could foresee the right office conditions and anticipate failures in advance and understand – in detail – their root causes? What if you could manage a building that self- regulates and adapts to the needs and requirements of every individual within it? Even more, what if the building could then report back to the architects and designers on its operational performance with insight into what is meeting the design brief and what is not? Tip 2: Control the bias. It is well-cited that an algorithm is only as good as the data used to train it. Therefore, we are all responsible for making sure that the data we use to train AI systems will not introduce bias to the outcomes and recommendations. This can be done by ensuring that the ethics are included at the outset. We should also expect the creators of an algorithm to find comprehensive data, experiment with different datasets and metrics, increase representation in the technical workforce, and include external validity testing and auditing. 4 Take a look at the Algorithmic Justice League founded by Joy Buolamwini, for example, to see how prejudice is being tackled head-on. 5 Tip 3: Empower your people. For the corporate real estate and FM industry, AI is critical. With it, we can re-invent roles, reduce operational costs and drive new value-add services to building users. At IBM, we have seen colleagues embrace AI and benefit from an injection of excitement into their existing jobs. There's no reason why this shouldn't be true for your people, too. When you make sure that your employees are enabled and trained on the AI solutions that you choose for your business, you can watch them grow! My final thought We might start to see more robots in the workplace. But remember, someone has to manage and maintain them! References 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. d r. Claire Penny is global leader of IBM Smart Facilities.

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