When we think about AI penetrating the workforce in a significant way, there seem to be two primary pain points.
First, people fear that AI will replace them; second, the advancement frictions that accompany any progressive technology can be confusing and upsetting.
Our conviction however is that AI won’t destroy the human workforce; it will simply disrupt it – for the betterment of all.
The Impact of the Assembly Line
“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” – Henry Ford
When Henry Ford first developed the assembly line in 1913, the impact on the workforce was immediate. Instead of being forced to walk throughout the facility, manually assemble hundreds of different parts, and carry heavy loads, workers were instead positioned in critical areas in the assembly line and given specific and hyper-attentive responsibilities.
And therein lies the rub: the beauty of Ford’s assembly line was also its bane. While it resulted in powerful benefits, such as an increase in highly-skilled jobs, reduced employee hours, decreased price of goods, and increased employee pay, it also meant that human labor became more repetitive.
Workers who used to build entire machines were now given specific coordinated tasks that were largely menial and domain-specific. This trend of repetition of labor has continued into modernity, as workers are still often reduced to “mindless” tasks, leaving less room for creativity.
As Ford’s assembly line massively impacted creative and bespoke tasks, AI is set to reintroduce them in a profound way.
Automating the Compliance Assembly Line
In the 1950s, engineers around the world began integrating robots into their assembly lines. General Motors installed its first robot arm in 1961 as the tide of machine automation struck global shores. What robots did for machine work then, AI is doing for knowledge work today.
Where compliance professionals were often resigned to redundancy in the form of auditing and regulatory tracking, they are now free to once again maximize their human contribution by providing critical, creative support when and where it’s needed.
Firms will see increased accuracy, comprehensiveness, and efficiencies, along with greater cost savings. As a society, we’ll even reap the rewards of Ford’s original assembly line: lower costs for consumers, better pay/hours for workers, and increased job creation.
AI is, in a sense, an anti-industrial revolution. It will empower workers as decision-makers and creatives in the compliance space. Instead of employees manually building specific compliance processes, AI (at Ascent especially) can use rich data and machine learning to fill the gaps and, as an example, create audit reports in minutes, which might take humans hundreds of hours.
INTaaS is Already Here
The first question that pops into people’s minds when anyone starts talking about the “AI revolution” is “when?”. How far away is AI from disrupting the way that we work? It’s already here. With Intelligence-as-a-Service (INTaaS), we can start integrating AI immediately into the workspace. By pairing adaptable, data-driven, and highly sophisticated AI with a highly scalable and immediately deployable atmosphere like the cloud, compliance departments can start to use AI in any of their 144 quadrillion (this is a real number) unique compliance processes today.
Fear of change is a natural human instinct. But, AI isn’t going to render us useless, it’s going to give us back our humanity. With 72% of business leaders ready for AI to give them a competitive edge and 61% of people already reporting that they believe that AI will make the world a better place, it’s time for us all to prepare ourselves for a brighter, more human future.
Ascent helps customers automate and manage their compliance programs through a simple-to-use, cloud-based platform powered by Regulation AI. We help you reduce risk, control costs, and achieve total confidence in your compliance program.