Digital Labor is Coming: Don’t Be Caught Unprepared
By Betsy Burton
Digital Labor is Coming: Don’t Be Caught Unprepared
I’m sure you’re all aware of the analogy of a frog sitting in a pot that is slowly getting warmer. The frog thinks it’s sitting in a nice pool of water. And next thing it knows it’s being boiled alive.
This analogy is important to remember when we think about the growth of AI enabled technology into organizations. We’re happily going along our merry way and suddenly we wake up one morning and realize that we have AI enabled digital labor all over the organization but don’t have the policies in place to manage it.
Like many of you I’m a born sceptic when it comes to some emerging technologies, particularly ones that are being heavily hyped within the marketplace. But we believe digital labor and generative AI technologies are truly going to have significant impact on your business strategy and operations; all the market hype isn’t just hype.
We have some predictions that you need to keep in mind over the next two years.
Growth and Adoption of Digital Labor Will Be Fast
Digital Labor refers to the AI-enabled computer applications that are used to perform goal-driven tasks that had previously or could be otherwise performed in part or in full by humans. Digital labor may emerge as logical entities; embedded in software applications and systems (e.g., chatbots, digital assistants/advisors). Digital labor may also take a physical form, such as robotics or automotives.
The growth and adoption of digital labor will be fast because of the high demand for its ability to make work more efficient and effective.
In addition, we see the adoption of digital labor increasing due to the extremely (almost pervasive) high number of technology providers that are developing both logical (chatbots, Copilots, etc.) and physically independent (robotics, automobiles, etc.) digital labor.
Your Users Will Adopt Without Approval
Many of the digital labor capabilities will be embedded into existing systems, such as sales force and marketing applications, as well as in the cloud, and on consumer devices. It will be incredibly easy for your end users and business managers to get access to digital labor technologies without any guidance on how to teach it which data to use, deploy it for which purposes and or manage it over the long haul.
Business and technology managers need to make sure that they are defining clear governance as well as roles and responsibilities for digital labor. Don’t wait until it’s too late.
Respond with the assumption that your users are already leveraging digital labor in your organization today.
Not All Usage Will Be Needed
As mentioned above, digital labor will be adopted quickly and easily by end users as well as IT and business unit managers. However not all usage of digital labor will actually be needed. Your users and leaders may be adopting digital labor technology to solve an immediate real or perceived issue. The challenge is, determining is that need in line with the business strategy.
Organizations need to approach adopting digital business like any new technology or business model; architect your business and technology from a future state first perspective. Determine how digital labor fits into your business strategy or does not. Or determine how your business strategy might need to change with the advent of digital labor.
In either case your determination on the usage of digital labor must be informed by your future state business strategy
Digital Labor Can Learn Inappropriate Activities
The good news of digital labor is that it can “learn” overtime how to support your business more effectively by interacting with humans and by having access to quality data.
However, unlike other traditional technologies, digital labor can learn bad behavior as well as good behavior. There are several cases of AI enabled systems learning inappropriate language as a result of customer interactions.
Like a child that doesn’t understand the meaning of an inappropriate term, your digital labor may use terminology or respond in situations that are not appropriate. Unlike traditional IT technologies, digital labor needs to be continually managed.
Digital Labor is already in your business today, and only going to increase. You need to determine your governance, roles and responsibilities, metrics, and policies, now. Otherwise, risk having some set of employees adopt digital labor in a way that damages your reputation and brand, and/or derails your business strategy and operations.
Our natural skepticism is generally a good idea. However, don’t let that skepticism and wariness leave you unprepared for this fast moving and evolving technology of digital labor.
See Adam LIVE in our upcoming webinar!
Prompt Engineering for the Enterprise: Accelerating Workflows with Generative AI
Join us for a webinar where Aragon’s analyst, Adam Pease, will explore the process of prompt engineering for large language models within an enterprise context. This session will not only introduce you to the fundamental principles of prompt engineering but also showcase how forward-thinking businesses are already leveraging generative AI to revolutionize their operational efficiency.
On Thursday, July 13th, Adam’s talk will cover:
- How businesses can deploy generative AI in a cost-effective way
- The critical importance of prompt engineering for successfully leveraging generative AI
- Actionable best practices for prompt engineering in different workplace use cases