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HR to manage artificial talent “within 5 years”

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Two thirds of HR executives in Asia expect they will soon be tasked with managing both man and machine as the use of artifical intelligence in business rises. Additionally, 70.8% believes the advancements in AI and robotics will lead to substantial job losses in Asia over the next five years.

Those are some of the findings from the recent MIT Technology Review, which surveyed over 60 Asia-based senior executives and two dozen senior HR professionals to gather perspective on the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics on Asia’s business landscape.

According to the report, the rise of AI will create a seismic shift in the processes that senior managers use to manage talent, growth, and productivity across nearly every industry sector. Due to the significant technology investments and the organic growth of big data, Asian businesses are in a position to leverage AI’s rise faster than others.

“The Asian academic scene is advancing quickly – what’s more, entrepreneurs are returning from big companies in the U.S. to create their own domestic ventures,” Will Knight, senior AI editor at MIT Technology Review says in the report.

Although all respondents agreed that AI and robotics are set to have a large impact on business, C-level executives saw only the bright side – expecting AI to boost competitiveness and innovation, while HR professionals expressed concern about the substantial job losses they expect AI to result in.

Despite the expected job losses, HR professionals believe the impact of AI on their own job function will be positive. Rather than the HR function narrowing as robots replace workers, the majority expects it will be expanded to oversee the management of both human and machine productivity.

According to the report, however, if AI and robotics truly are to soon disrupt the workplace, decision makers at Asian-based firms need to act on their beliefs. While the majority is convinced of AI’s benefits, most have not yet committed resources to it.

“In order to capitalise on today’s AI and automation trends, Asian business leaders will need to adopt an attitude of extreme openness”, the report states.

“This should manifest through a willingness to collaborate in data analytics projects and to share best practices and insight resulting from their own process automation efforts.”

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