Offices are replacing humans with technology

Through the development of highly advanced software, companies will be able to operate faster with less staff and on less money as there will no longer be a need for salaries, holiday pay or need for equipment in the office. Although there may be huge advantages for companies through these advances, there’s a huge amount of pressure on staff among various industries that could easily be replaced. We take a look at some of the technology that’s currently being used in the office; and ones that are already replacing the need for humans.

Virtual digital assistants

Many office-based jobs are turning to the help of virtual digital assistants to help with workloads. They are an advanced piece of automated software that have the ability to assist employees across different industries and are made with artificial intelligence and voice technology to be able to understand users in a range of languages. Despite being remote, they are already proving a popular choice in smaller firms which do not have the funding to hire an extra member of staff. Virtual digital assistants can carry out tasks such as taking notes and organising calendar dates, for example, and are being used as a replacement for admin and secretarial roles.

Today, most people are already accustomed to having a digital assistance thanks to giant corporations including Apple which introduced us to “Siri”, and Google’s “Now”. If these have the ability to carry out our basic tasks, such as telling us the latest football score or ringing our contacts for us, then there was always going to be the potential to use them within the business world. Currently, there are 504m virtual assistants being used by consumers, with this set to rise to an incredible 1.8bn by 2021.

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Chatbots

Making phone calls to a call centre, or customer service desk are traditionally one of the best ways to have queries assisted with. However, many companies are taking queries online and having customers dealt with by chat bots. They are programmed to carry out human conversations by finding answers from browsing through knowledge articles. In recent years, there have been many advances within this industry indicating that it is set to boom, despite speculation that it’s not quite ready.

However, with the increasing demand from humans to speak to someone 24/7, there is a requirement for round-the-clock assistance and companies using chat bots are able to provide this. As a result of this, it’s predicted that there will be an increase in both sales and production as these will be working longer hours, for free. There’s huge worry for call centre staff that in time will all be replaced by chatbots that will lead to a huge amount of job losses.

Report writing software

A piece of technology that is able to produce a news article, or pull together a report may seem impossible, but thanks to US tech company Narrative Science this concept has been brought to life. The firm created a software called Quill that has the ability to read data and process it into a report  a job that would normally require a human brain. Publications, including Forbes, have already taken to using systems like this to create reports for industries such as finance, replacing the need for journalists to produce them.

Despite concern that these will be replacing journalist jobs, they are not designed for this. Instead, they are there to work alongside journalists in order to create more news and extend the audience reach. But with companies looking for ways to cut back this may not always be the case. That being said, it could revolutionise smaller, startup businesses that require reports or data to be processed. In the near future, this type of software is also set to have an impact on other industries that require similar data process including marketing and finance.

As technology continues to develop, there are more advances set to hit the office, making it easier and more efficient for workplaces to carry out their work. One example of this that we should expect to see in the near future is the creation of telepresence robots which will allow remote works to see what is happening in the office, and also have the freedom to move around it.

Hannah Pennell is a content writer for The Scanner Shop.

Image: Shutterstock

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