The corporate infrastructure has remained more or less unchanged for decades. We have the occasional new C-Suite role created – Chief Digital Officer, Chief Innovation Officer – and a periodic nod to the softer skills, with the likes of Mindset Manager being introduced. However, the core roles and principles have remained steady, with businesses following an established model and hierarchy. But with the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) comes an organisational change on a scale never before experienced by the corporate workforce. It is estimated that roles will be made redundant across sectors – with 800 million jobs predicted to be displaced in the next seven years – while new positions will become essential for managing the new technology.
So, what changes will AI bring to the established corporate hierarchy? And what skills will be in most demand?
Understanding the Impact AI Will Have on the Corporate Workforce
Understanding how AI will impact individual businesses is integral because with the groundwork to accommodate change, businesses will quickly stay caught up their competitors. That makes it crucial for organisations of all sizes to take steps now to work out what AI will mean in their sector. But while each sector will have its own niche reasons to deploy AI, there will be a range of new roles created that will be applicable across the board.
What Are the Key Roles Necessary to the AI-Driven Business?
There will be endless opportunities for individuals with a technical background, as businesses look to the daily management of their AI infrastructure. One of the first roles that most businesses will need to consider will be the AI Integration Specialist. While this could potentially be outsourced in the short term, with AI likely to be used for an increasing number of applications, in most cases, it will make sense to have an employee capable of overseeing system integration. An AI Systems Auditor will become necessary for most businesses to ensure continued performance, compliance, and security. Some firms will need Automation Engineers and AI Solutions Architects to design and implement automated processes and manage AI solution implementation. Data Flow Managers will oversee how data moves, is used, and is processed within a business’ AI system.
Alongside the overtly technical roles, businesses will need to invest in administrative roles that will require some technical understanding but may not need to be managed by an employee with an IT background. Chief among these will be the AI Ethics Officer. AI has already come under much scrutiny regarding ethics, with AI bias regularly hitting the headlines, concerns over training practices in generative AI, and worries about AI application and privacy. To stay on top of regulatory compliance – as well as societal norms – ethics officers will be vital. But equally important will be AI Trainers. Not necessarily those who programme the systems but those who identify and sort the information used within a business’ AI system. While most boards will be welcoming a Chief AI Officer to oversee AI strategy and the technology’s role within the business, ensuring that all AI initiatives align with business objectives – although these duties may initially be shared between the Chief Data Officer, Digital Officer, and Innovation Officer, it will likely become impractical to do so.
How Should Businesses Approach the Move into the AI Era?
All businesses will inevitably face a choice between upskilling their current corporate workforce and taking on new hires to handle the integration of AI successfully. And there’s no real answer as to which approach will be best. In most cases, businesses will use a combination of the two. While AI-focussed learning and development programmes will foster company loyalty and help protect the business against loss of knowledge, new blood can bring in diverse experiences and viewpoints, enhancing the talent pool.
Ever since it moved from the province of science fiction into a technological fact, artificial intelligence has held a degree of fear for many. With the media telling us all that computers will take our jobs and the advancing tech proving increasingly capable, the worry is understandable. But, as economist, Professor Richard Baldwin is quoted as saying, ‘AI won’t take your job, but someone using it will.’ And that’s the real threat that most workers – including senior management – will face. This is why understanding how AI and other technologies will change the workplace is imperative for businesses – and the wider workforce.
Jonas Angleflod, CEO of Theories Group – In the intersection of tech and the online affiliate marketing arena, Theories™ invests in new, upcoming companies that supports its ecosystem of partners and platforms.