Business leaders agree that organisations must be digitised to compete

Business leaders agree that organisations must be digitised to compete

Over two thirds (67 percent) of business leaders agree their company must become significantly digitalised by 2020 to remain competitive, and they are looking for HR leaders to lead the transformation. This is according to Gartner, Inc whose latest research suggests that CEOs are sharing their focus on digitalisation with their investors; with mentions of “digital” on earnings calls increasing by 20 percent year-over-year since 2010. CEOs are seeking ways to keep costs down while achieving gains in efficiency and productivity, and the HR function is expected to lead digital transformation efforts across their organisations. More →

The jobs of the future that will survive the AI revolution

The jobs of the future that will survive the AI revolution

While the debate rages on about the exact consequences of the use of automation in the workplace,  IT firm Cognizant has identified what it claims are the jobs of the future. Of the jobs Cognizant tracks, 45 actually exist today, such as data scientist and aerospace engineer. The other five are “proxy” jobs, the key characteristics of which the report sets out to define.

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Technical, social and legal challenges to deployment of wearables in buildings

Technical, social and legal challenges to deployment of wearables in buildings

Technical, social and legal challenges to deployment of wearables in buildings

While there is substantial potential for the deployment of wearables there are also significant technical, social and legal challenges. This is the conclusion of the latest white paper from BSRIA, ‘Wearables & wellbeing in buildings – the story so far’ which found little evidence of any practical solutions linking wearables to HVAC or building systems in general that were already in operation, apart from in “niche areas” such as wearable security fobs. A wearable is a device or an item of clothing which can be worn by a human, or possibly be carried as an implant, which has a degree of “intelligence” built into it and can potentially communicate with the Internet of Things (IoT), either directly or indirectly, for example via a Bluetooth connection to a smart phone. More →

Employers struggling to attract skills needed for digitalised workplace

Employers struggling to attract skills needed for digitalised workplace

Employers struggling to attract skills needed for digitalised workplaceMore than half of CEOs (53 percent) admit they can’t find candidates with the necessary skills to help them navigate an increasingly digitalised business landscape a new survey from Robert Half has claimed. These include data analysis and digital skills, as well as softer skills such as resilience, adaptability to change and critical thinking. This means that nearly five million UK SMEs, the equivalent to four out of every five (82 percent) small and medium-sized companies, are struggling to attract the skills they need. As a result, many are being forced to offer salary packages higher than originally expected to recruit the right talent. More →

Generations divide on the role of Artificial Intelligence in the workplace

Generations divide on the role of Artificial Intelligence in the workplace

Clear generational divide exists on the role of AI in the workplace

We try to avoid generalisations when describing the multi-generational workforce, but there’s no denying that younger workers who’ve grown up with digital communications appear less comfortable communicating face to face or on the phone. This is why it comes as no surprise to find that new research by ABBYY claims millennials would prefer to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to avoid speaking to colleagues and customers. While one in 10 millennials would hand over speaking to customers to robot colleagues, older generations are less keen, with only 4 percent of over-55s feeling the same.  More →

Digital Board could help Local Authorities deliver smart initiatives

Digital Board could help Local Authorities deliver smart initiatives

Digital Board could help Local Authorities deliver Smart initiativesLocal authorities, which are on the front line of implementation when it comes to smart, place-based digital initiatives could be helped to deliver positive, sustainable citizen outcomes for their locality with the formation of a Digital Board – a new report claims. Launched at techUK’s Local Gov Transformation: Creating smart places event, What makes a ‘good’ Digital Board? draws upon the expertise of techUK industry members and public sector stakeholders to guide local authorities through building a stronger understanding of digital, data and technological solutions into decision-making levels by establishing and maintaining a good Digital Board. More →

New report aims to debunk myth that AI will be intrinsically bad for people at work

New report aims to debunk myth that AI will be intrinsically bad for people at work

The latest report that claims to debunk the myths surrounding AI in the workplace arrives from Tata Communications who worked with academics at UC Berkeley to interview 120 business leaders about their attitudes to AI. The report, AI and the Future of Work (registration required) claims to shift ‘the conversation from dystopian fears toward human collaboration and cognitive diversity, the study identifies how AI can diversify human thinking rather than replace it. The study identifies opportunities for businesses and employees based on insights from leaders such as Tony Blair, Executive Chair of the Institute of Global Change and former UK Prime Minister, who predicts that, AI will allow us to do what it is that we are uniquely meant to do: focus on high-level thinking, strategy, and paving the way for innovation.’

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Employees often too busy keeping up with workloads to innovate

Employees often too busy keeping up with workloads to innovate

Employees too busy keeping up with workloads to innovate

The majority of workers say their workplace regularly asks them to innovate, but a full 65 percent say they’re so swamped with day-to-day work that they don’t have time to think about the future, a new report by Workfront claims. Yet their work remains important to employees, as over half (57 percent) says what they do matters to them personally. The report also found that UK workers rate their own contributions higher than those of their colleagues. On average, most workers scored their productivity at 7.84/10, compared with 7.05 for co-workers and 6.28 for company leadership. Most do believe though that automation will boost personal productivity, as seventy-seven percent thought that the rise of automation will help people and teams think of work in new and innovative ways. There are concerns too regarding too many time wasting activities, with staff spending only 39 per cent of their workday on their primary tasks. Emails and pointless meetings topped the list of things that keep knowledge workers from getting work done.

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Reinventing jobs for an automated future workplace

Reinventing jobs for an automated future workplace

Earlier this year, the European Commission announced it will invest €20 billion in Artificial Intelligence (AI) research and development by 2020 to boost the adoption of AI and robotics across multiple industries, which will have a significant impact on the way work across sectors gets done. Facing demographic deficits, Europe and Japan – and to an extent the US and China – are highly motivated to continue investment into AI, which is growing at an annual rate of 15 percent, and set to reach $1 trillion globally by 2050, according to Morgan Stanley.

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People might be more productive when supervised by a bad robot

People might be more productive when supervised by a bad robot

We will have to get used to a lot more talk about how we interact with artificial intelligence and it might involve addressing some difficult ideas. Try this for a start. People might perform better on certain tasks when supervised by a ‘mean’ robot rather than a ‘nice’ one, according to a new study published in the journal Science Robotics (registration or subscription required). The study involved asking 58 young adults to complete a Stroop test which involves subjects stating the colour of font used in a written word. The difficult comes from the cognitive difficulty of identifying a colour when the word itself indicates a colour, for example when the word red is printed using a blue font.

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The Fourth Industrial Revolution will be the most disruptive yet, senior economist predicts

The Fourth Industrial Revolution will be the most disruptive yet, senior economist predicts

The rise of artificial intelligence and automation will create a Fourth Industrial Revolution that will be be significantly more disruptive than the three previous industrial revolutions, according to the Bank of England’s chief economist. According to Andy Haldane, the transformation caused by automation of cognitive skills had the potential to have a greater impact than Britain’s first industrial revolution, when coal and steam changed the country, the second industrial revolution which brought chemical engineering and the combustion engine, or the widespread use of computers in the 20th and 21st centuries.

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Majority of employees see digital data as way of being snooped on by their boss

Majority of employees see digital data as way of being snooped on by their boss

Majority of employees see digital data as way of being snooped on by their bossAs we recently reported, facilities management is more data driven than ever, with the use of data analytics being used to measure costs and performance. This is why the increasingly sophisticated ways in which workplaces can be monitored; from the footfall in the washrooms to the level of desk usage has been welcomed by employers, but a new survey suggests digital data gathering is making staff feel uneasy. A new report published today by the TUC looks at the phenomenon from the perspective of workers’ experiences and found that 6 in 10 workers fear that greater workplace surveillance through technology will fuel distrust. The study reveals that most UK workers (56 percent) believe they are currently monitored by their boss at work and worry that this ‘surveillance data’ will be used by bosses to set unfair targets, micromanage them and take away control and autonomy.

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