Artificial Intelligence: A Threat or an Opportunity?

More than knowing the answer, knowing the next measures to take is of higher importance.

artificial intelligence

For the past years, companies look for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) firms for the execution of their non-core business functions. These are low-skill, time-consuming jobs that business owners wanted to get out of their way for better maximization of time, money and effort on crucial business aspects. This is the type of work that kept the BPO industry growing into the robust sector it is today.

However, with artificial intelligence like chatbots, BPO employees face a strong competitor in the ability to perform these tasks.  With this type of job as the key function that keeps an entire industry alive, worries about job loss is only reasonable. In 2015, it was known that 1.2 million Filipinos are employed in the BPO sector.

In recent news, Sitel’s CEO Craig Reines regarded this presumed direct effect of artificial intelligence to the industry’s employment rate as a myth, with the lack of human touch among machines as the main argument. He furthered that machines’ lack of emotional intelligence and limited ability to process information, two skills that remain essential in BPO services like contact center solutions, strengthens the edge of human beings over machines.

Nonetheless, it remains a threat to the availability of low-skill roles for human beings to play. With this, BPO companies venture into merging machine and human resources in performing low-skill jobs. For example, human support in chat services can just follow if the chatbot fails to address a request. Indeed, machines can help human beings for a faster delivery of tasks but not totally replace them at this point.

However, with artificial intelligence continually developing, it is possible for a time to come where low-skill jobs will no longer need human intervention. For this reason, a possibility of a shift towards the services demanded from BPO companies becomes higher. Soon enough, business owners will turn to BPOs to perform their core business functions, altering low-skill jobs with mid- or high-skill jobs or better known as Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO).

This opportunity was tackled at the Information Technology and Business Process Management of the Philippines (IBPAP)’s General Membership Assembly Meeting last September 21, 2017. To sum it up, IBPAP proposes to prepare for this shift through re-skilling and up-skilling existing members of the IT-BPM sector. For one, during the event, they mentioned that IBPAP will hold Human Tech Talk Series to increase awareness about new technological advancements like virtual reality.

With Anderson BPO living by the values’ Collaborative, Adaptable, Passionate, Evolving and Trustworthy, you will surely have access to the right people that can proficiently cater to any of your business needs. Learn more about our services and our team or directly talk to us at paulos@anderson.uk.com.

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