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Augmentation vs Automation

Elizabeth Zink
Mar 17, 2023
The Looming Shadow of Automation

Ever since the dawn of AI, humans have feared how it might one day take over the world. We’ve seen it in movies and television as well as books and now, it seems, we’re seeing it in real life. Every day we hear stories about companies, particularly in the tech industry, laying off and firing workers in what can only be described as a crushing tidal wave. In 2022 alone, companies in the tech space laid off over 95,000 workers. While these lay offs come from a number of reasons, many have started pointing the finger of blame at a uniquely futuristic problem – the rise of automation.

Automation is the practice of using technology to execute tasks typically done by a human. As AI has grown stronger and more intelligent it’s been able to accomplish tasks that were initially too complex to automate. Applications like ChatGPT and Dall-E have become easily accessible proof of this considerable rise in power and have fueled the accusations that AI is trying to steal your job.

These accusations aren’t completely unfounded, either. In fact, according to the World Economic Forum, AI will replace 85 million jobs by 2025. More and more companies are looking to AI to replace humans with the hopes of completely automating certain processes. But is complete automation the answer? Is the AI takeover a forgone conclusion?

At Pypestream, we don’t think so. We believe in the power of augmentation.

An Augmented Reality

Augmentation is the happy medium between doing things manually and complete automation. It’s the act of using AI to help accomplish menial tasks that would otherwise waste valuable time so workers can focus on more complex and fulfilling projects.

For many jobs, there are plenty of tasks that require nothing more than speed, accuracy, and repetition. These are jobs that AI can take on. Conversely, according to Kai-Fu Lee, CEO of Sinovation Ventures, AI won’t be able to execute jobs that require skills like empathy or precise hand eye coordination. These are jobs humans will be able to focus on. Freeing up humans to work on tasks that are more enjoyable and more meaningful can lead to increased happiness in the workplace which can, in turn, decrease turnover and increase customer satisfaction.

Additionally, augmenting the workforce can help make it more efficient. When we pair AI with humans we can increase productivity while diminishing the number of mistakes that are made due to the neglect and carelessness that often comes as a result of disinterested workers. Increased productivity is better for the bottom line and adds value to companies.

The rising wave of AI can be scary. But it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. In the same study by the World Economic Forum, it was predicted that AI will also create 97 million jobs. AI in the workplace doesn’t need to be viewed as a threat. Its inclusion with human workers can benefit both company and employee by creating significant gains – financially and psychologically.

Are you ready to start your company’s augmentation journey? If you are, contact Pypestream today!