Generative AI Is Coming to Your Office. Here’s How to Prepare

Generative artificial intelligence has more potential to change the workforce than almost any technological innovation since the internet began. And it’s being used to change how businesses can efficiently and effectively get work done.

What’s more, employees are excited to use it. PwC’s 2023 Global Hopes & Fears Survey shows that 52% of respondents have identified at least one way generative AI will positively impact their work. Savvy businesses are implementing generative AI in a variety of ways in their workforce. Transforming work and automating routine, non-value-added tasks can free workers to pursue a human-led, tech-powered approach to business objectives.

What’s Changing

Generative AI tools can improve the employee experience, for example, by transforming systems used for changing 401(k) and benefits-related programs. Instead of navigating a maze of confusing menus, employees can ask for exactly what they want, and those programs can successfully execute their requests.

Generative AI also has the ability to help employees focus on strategic rather than repetitive tasks. Content creation, project management, information analysis, and more time-intensive tasks can be rerouted through generative AI tools, freeing up employees to focus on upskilling, increasing impact, and more efficiently handling their workload.

Of course, generative AI is by no means infallible; it can produce incorrect results. It can also be subject to biases, especially current large language models that can be influenced by the biases of the content they were trained on.

There are techniques and governance we can use to help mitigate these risks for businesses using generative AI. We assert that generative AI is used to help people, and that people are ultimately accountable for the quality of work and decisions.

Human ingenuity and critical thinking should be used to confirm the quality of generative AI conclusions. With the technology still in its infancy, particularly as a business tool, human oversight is necessary for thoughtful implementation.

What’s Not Changing

Generative AI is supplementing and aiding various jobs and freeing workers from time-consuming, repetitive tasks. First, many companies are planning strategic implementation of generative AI and large language models to proactively address privacy challenges and better prepare their workforce.

Second, generative AI can effectively be used as an augmentation tool. It can digest large amounts of data and provide summaries but ultimately is intended to help people to perform analysis and recommend decisions. It doesn’t replace the accountability people have on outcomes and decisions.

Further, generative AI is already creating new jobs, including prompt engineer, a person skilled at optimizing generative AI task requests. In the coming years we will see many more jobs designed around using, managing, and transforming generative AI in responsible ways.

Like many new technologies, its potential effects can cause fear. However, as familiarity with generative AI grows, and it becomes a regular part of life, people will see the benefits in their lives and work.

How to Prepare

Generative AI will soon be a fixture of many industries and to enable implementation that’s not only effective but can improve the workplace, companies must prepare now.

First, businesses can establish a generative AI governance team. This group would be tasked with understanding how generative AI will affect their business and industry as a whole, looking into both intended and unintended consequences. They can also establish generative AI policies.

Similar to HR policy, a guide on responsible generative AI use can set expectations and limits on the use of the technology in the workplace, giving employees confidence in how generative AI can be implemented.

Once a policy is in place, generative AI can be adapted to help deliver business outcomes. Companies should manage and prioritize where they focus on generative AI solutions based on business goals and to confirm necessary regulations are followed. This is where human oversight and understanding is key.

To pave the way for effective deployment, industry leaders are upskilling their employees on the transformative power of responsible AI usage, so they understand the tools and in-demand skills needed to leverage this technology now and as it evolves for the future. The goal is to augment the workforce and elevate their work, automating tasks and providing data and insights. Upskilling modules will include a diverse range of learning modalities and gamification strategies to enhance engagement and adoption.

The deployment of generative AI isn’t the end of the road. Like any tool, it will improve as the underlying technology evolves. With careful and considerate implementation, this paradigm-shifting tool will benefit businesses and employees alike.

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg Industry Group, Inc., the publisher of Bloomberg Law and Bloomberg Tax, or its owners.

Author Information

Anthony Abbatiello leads PwC’s workforce transformation business, delivering HR transformation, talent strategy, change management, organizational development, and rewards services to CEOs and CHROs across sectors and functions.

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