The emergence of new technology breaks barriers every day. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) are some of the few that have revolutionized the future of work. These technologies have permeated through various industries and sectors, transforming work processes and enhancing productivity in unprecedented ways. While they might be considered a double-edged sword, AI and NLP have done much to surface benefits.
One of the most significant benefits of AI would be the automation of repetitive tasks. Machine Learning (ML), that is broader than AI as it does not boast similar decision-making characteristics, is used to learn tasks commonly carried out by humans. These activities that do not need human intervention or strategic decision-making are easily executed by AI. Intelligent algorithms and machine learning models can now handle data analysis, sorting, and decision-making. This enables knowledge workers to focus on more complex high-value work. Not only does this reduce overhead costs, but it also reduces the likelihood of human errors, enabling more accurate outputs with increased efficiency.
An apt example would be the transition of the Know Your Customer (KYC) process to a Perpetual Know Your Customer (pKYC). Unlike the traditional KYC process that takes days of manual work, pKYC enables customer information to be updated on the fly. It harnesses AI capabilities to validate information as well as detect missing information. The automation of this process not only reduces human error but also enables organizations to better allocate resources to more high-value work.
Sifting through information manually to obtain insights is now done within seconds with AI. Analyzing, processing, and uncovering findings from large datasets is one of the key benefits of AI. The ability to scan historical data to uncover trends paves a way forward for predictive analytics with statistical analysis and machine learning techniques. When this happens in real-time, organizations can make informed decisions in a timely fashion. With anomalies and bottlenecks detected instantaneously, organizations gain a competitive edge by tackling them as they arise, or even before they do. This eliminates the lag time that often results in financial losses.
What exactly is Natural Language Processing (NLP)? NLP is a subset of AI that concerns how computer programs process and analyze large amounts of natural language data. The complex nature of language makes it difficult. There are many language rules that are high-level and abstract, making it difficult for the model to pick up.
For the English language, significant progress has been made to what these models are able to understand. This ranges from intent detection, question answering, grammatical error correction and much more. One of the most common use cases would be for an NLP algorithm to analyze and understand input, and to facilitate interactions. This manifests itself in the form of chatbots on websites used to answer questions from users, virtual assistants and even language translation tools. All these helps to speed up the end-user receiving relevant information and overcome the language barriers that exist in cross-border communication. With the ability to comprehend and respond to human queries, these technologies have transformed customer service, making it faster, more personalized, and available 24/7.
The analysis of user behavior, historical choices, user generated content and interactions enable the NLP algorithms to deliver personalized recommendations. When the preferences of the user are accounted for, the recommendations become even more accurate and relevant. This can be seen in marketing, where sentiment analysis is carried out to determine how individuals feel towards certain products, and the data is used to inform the recommendations such that it is aligned with the users interests.
In the corporate setting, NLP can be used to improve the workflow within an organization. For example, TRIYO is able to capture the user and work data across the different communication channels used by an organization. Within these interactions lie workflows that are unsurfaced. While external consultants can be engaged by the company for process mapping, it will not be as accurate due to the reliance on human recollection of the entire process. With the surfaced workflows and historical data of the interactions, TRIYO is able to provide recommendations on the best next steps. For example, in a typical Know Your Customer (KYC) use case, certain individuals or processes may be recommended to optimize the project. This reduces the chances of bottlenecks as pre-emptive measures are taken to minimize delays.
With every stride taken towards new frontiers of technological innovation, one cannot ignore the displacement of individuals from the role they play in their current jobs. The automation of manual processes alone resulted in technological unemployment across the various industries. Individuals must constantly up-skill to stay relevant, and leverage on this new technology to stay ahead of the curve.
There have also been ethical concerns as to how AI is being used. Ultimately, AI is coded by a human where implicit biases can seep its way into the code. Measures must be put in place to ensure that the technology remains as impartial as possible, especially when it deals with sensitive domains like criminal justice, healthcare and surveillance.
AI and NLP have emerged as pivotal technologies, reshaping the landscape of modern work. Their profound impact on communication, data analysis, and decision-making is undeniable. Through automation of repetitive tasks, enhanced communication capabilities, and data-driven insights, AI and NLP empower organizations to achieve remarkable strides in productivity, efficiency, and innovation. As these transformative technologies continue to drive business transformation, it is important to carefully navigate the ethical and societal implications they present. By diligently considering the ethical dimensions, we can ensure a seamless integration of AI and NLP into our corporate workflows, fostering a responsible and harmonious utilization of these game-changing technologies.