In my last blog post, I talked about how financial services (FS) firms in 2018 must shift the conversation from artificial intelligence (AI) eliminating jobs to innovative ways in which machines and people can collaborate.

Fjord Trends 2018, the latest report on the trends affecting business, technology and design, has four solid recommendations on how to move forward with machines in the workforce, which FS leaders need to consider:

  1. Think collaboratively, not competitively. FS firms have for some time now been automating those jobs that are the most mundane and repetitive. In 2018 and beyond, continue to enable your FS people to do what they do best and machines to do what people do worst. Which work activities are most meaningful to humans in FS firms? Remember to take your human workforce along on the journey so they feel reassured, included and informed.
  2. Design for interaction. Keep in mind that machines do not have the rich communication skills of people. Think how quickly you can tell a machine to do something. Design machines to ask questions and clarify their instructions.
  3. Be inclusive. FS employees and customers alike must have an understanding of how decisions are being made. Use a diversity of people, data and AI-enabled machines to keep biases in check.
  4. Plan for workforce evolution. FS organizations need a plan for their workforce to evolve. In order to make the most of the relationship between people and machines, make the employee experience a priority. 

This last step is perhaps the most crucial for FS firms. The evolution of the workforce will require them to make radical changes to their training, performance and talent acquisition strategies. They will need to reskill and retrain at speed and scale to create skills the wider market cannot provide, and to continuously keep current workers relevant and adaptive. The optimal use of AI will be to augment the capabilities of existing workers, helping them not merely to be more productive, but to deliver more creative, precise and valuable work. This will involve fostering a culture of lifelong learning; managing new and multidisciplinary skillsets; and creating partnerships with startups, universities and experts to access knowledge.

To learn more, read the full report: 2018 Fjord Trends.

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