Artificial intelligence and its impact on the future workforce were heavily discussed at the annual gathering of the World Economic Forum in Davos recently. Accenture's "Reworking the Revolution" report, released during the meeting, shows how pioneers are already using human-machine collaboration not just to improve efficiencies, but also to drive growth.

From Theresa May to Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai, from celebrities to financial services (FS) leaders, everyone at the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) recent meeting in Davos talked about artificial intelligence and its impact on the future workforce.

Accenture has long partnered with the Forum on research and initiatives and this year was no different. Our collaborative report “The New Production Workforce: Responding to Shifting Labour Trends” found that job losses globally will be less than expected. Accenture is also a founding partner of the WEF Governor’s IT Reskill Initiative, a new tech-reskilling drive targeting one million workers over the next three years.

In addition to our work with the WEF, on the first day of the gathering in Davos we released a new report entitled “Reworking the Revolution,” which is based on global research with over 15,000 participants. The survey found businesses risk missing major growth opportunities unless business leaders and CHROs take immediate steps to pivot their workforces and equip their people to work with intelligent technologies, such as robotics and artificial intelligence (AI).

The report also shows how pioneers are already using human-machine collaboration not just to improve efficiencies, but to drive growth through new customer experiences. They are scaling the application of these technologies across their businesses, as well as exploring new business models.

Those in the FS sector that commit fully to AI and invest in human-machine collaboration can expect an average 32 per cent boost in revenue and a 9 per-cent increase in their workforce by 2022. This is not a negative news story for the workforce.

While 76 per cent of financial services firms will significantly automate tasks and processes in the next three years, 67 per cent of FS executives believe intelligent technologies will result in a net increase in jobs in their organisation and 67 per cent of employees believe AI will create new opportunities for work.

The biggest impact will be on new skills and working practices ─ 54 per cent of FS executives felt a growing skills gap is the key factor influencing workforce strategy, yet only 3 per cent expect to significantly increase investments in skills development. So more needs to be done within the existing spend.

As was clearly evident at Davos, artificial intelligence is revolutionising every aspect of our lives. Our research shows there is a positive platform to build on when it comes to applying intelligence to the future workforce.

In my next post, I will discuss the steps FS leaders should take to prepare for the future workforce.

To learn more, register to download “Reworking the Revolution.”

To find out more about how to apply AI in innovative ways to the future workforce in FS, please contact me here, or follow me on Twitter: @AndyYoungACN.

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