Will Technology Replace Human Resources?
With recent advancements in artificial intelligence and self-learning technology, it might be tempting to say that smart computers will manage employees’ future generation instead of humans. But will technology replace human resources to the extent that we won’t need humans anymore? While this may be partially true in some areas — such as factories, land transportation, and data processing –, AI-based managing systems are currently, and might always be, far too flawed to replace real human resource and middle-level managers.
Humans Are More “Human” Than AI
As human beings, employees need managers who can empathize and feel that they belong to the company. They need to feel that they are being understood when talking about their work-related problems. This human factor is an integral component in all forms of management practices. It is so important, in fact, that at some point in their entire career, managers of all industries will go through at least one empathy or leadership-related training or seminar.
Indeed, human resources will become more important in the coming years as cheaper and more efficient automation technologies would replace factory workers in the manufacturing industry. The anxiety and stress for fear of losing their jobs will not only affect factory workers. It will also affect the people in other divisions as they dread the coming of the advancing technology, which “steals” jobs. Current and future managers will need to be more empathetic to their employees, reassuring them that it is in the company’s best interest to keep them in employment.
In addition to relieving anxiety in their staff, future managers will also need to learn many new technologies that employees will use far more frequently shortly. Advancements in ergonomics and self-learning systems will not only bring newer, more efficient machines that replace human labor, but they will also aid in the advancement of a new work concept: the human-technology symbiosis.
The concept of human-technology, or man-computer symbiosis, is an old one. After the loss of chess grandmaster Gary Kasparov to an IBM supercomputer named Deep Blue in 1997, a new series of “advanced chess” has come into play. These are tournaments where machines help human players choose which “perfect tactical move” will allow them to win. This allowed teams of weaker machines and amateur chess players to emerge victorious against advanced supercomputers and grandmasters. However, this has already been a concept far back in the 1970s in various science fiction literature.
In the contemporary business setting, human-technology symbiosis usually takes the form of an employee with a computer that helps with various tasks such as analysis, automated messaging, and scanning systems. As a manager, it is your job to help your employees be accustomed to the protocols in using these and work together with other employees who use the same technologies.
In fact, the case will also be similar to managers of all levels. As technology grows and develops into more workable forms, they can help you make better decisions similar to how advanced chess players do. A computer may give the best prediction out of a given outcome, but the human will still give the final decision in the end. It will also help more if you speak your decision to your employees, yourself. This will increase their trust in you and your capacity to make the best decisions.
How Technology Does More Jobs
However, it is still an indisputable fact that people will lose their jobs due to advancements in AI technology, especially in the unskilled labor sector. But as much as there will be people going out of jobs, there will also be a need for new technicians who will oversee their machinery’s progress. It is human resource managers’ job to cultivate the skills of these technicians and train them to become more competitive in the industry.
Similarly, newer technologies’ overall economic effect may force new industries to open and increase in scope. When this happens, human resource managers (especially those on the top management) will need to expand their knowledge of these new industries and adapt to accommodate them.
The Final Verdict – But will technology replace human resources?
In the end, machines are made to serve humans, not the other way around. Even though these technologies will replace some employees, human resource managers will remain in the workforce. As long as there will be employees to manage, talk, and supervise, AI technologies can never replace a human professional’s touch.