2020 has seen a number of forces shape how, where, when and how physically close humans can work together. Capacity to scale quickly, particularly in essential and enabling workforces, with communication, customer service and production functions, quickly impacted demand and supply in many countries and regions. People in more face to face ‘experience-based’ sectors were heavily affected and so many businesses had no choice but to downsize, lay off staff and/or close.
There has been permission to experiment and innovate with hybrid workforces and exploration of what could be automated. Often there is commentary on the skills you need to compete with AI and automation but what about the skills you need to work with digital people and humanoid robots?
Collaboration between humans and machines, building upon strengths where there might be significant loads of data to analyse, being able to reach quicker outcomes or with more accuracy, are obvious benefits.
Having an open mind to new discovery technologies, understanding what to automate plus the ethics and implications of those decisions, exploring workflow and physical spaces such as factories, offices and warehouses are all considerations.
An appreciation of machine learning across supervised, unsupervised and reinforcement learning; data science based upon applying relevant and meaningful data; and creativity to uncover what might be possible are key capabilities.
How communication flows naturally and authentically, logic and how to solve problems, appropriate emotional and social responses in a variety of settings, are a number of areas that is the past it has been said are hard for AI to learn. But that is changing.
A company that I’ve been tracking is Soul Machines, where these innovators are developing life like digital people with a patented Digital Brain. The use cases and applications are endless but imagine a digital person engaging with your customers and representing your brand. Perhaps as an adviser (on products) or coach, as an influencer or salesperson, a digital avatar for a celebrity like Will.i.am or yourself, as a digital healthcare assistant or COVID 19 Information Helper.
Multi-lingual with the ability to answer questions, take down information, be a companion and available any time of the day or night. There are benefits in reaching more people and potentially at lower costs with timely content and engagement. And way beyond a chatbot, digital people engage in conversational and real life experiences that can also increase conversions.
Friends in education might be interested in how digital coaches can help with student support issues, guidance to resources and possibly student retention. Learning and Development colleagues may be interested in ways to keep employees engaged in enterprise L & D.
Read about how Soul Machines got started and how they are bringing together the human and digital world.
Please note that I’m not affiliated with Soul Machines, rather I admire their research based approach and practical applications of AI with examples that solve real world problems.
A reality of working with Digital People and AI Robots is already here, and woven through this blog is the skills you need that relies upon a high degree of tacit knowledge related to human behaviour and interactions. This seems to be, in part anyway what Soul Machine’s Digital Brain is creating.