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Artificial intelligence in the workplace – A double-edged sword

Artificial intelligence in the workplace – A double-edged sword The aim of this paper is to outline how artificial intelligence (AI) can augment learning process in the workplace and where there are limitations.Design/methodology/approachThe paper is a theoretical-based outline with reference to individual and organizational learning theory, which are related to machine learning methods as they are currently in use in the workplace. Based on these theoretical insights, the paper presents a qualitative evaluation of the augmentation potential of AI to assist individual and organizational learning in the workplace.FindingsThe core outcome is that there is an augmentation potential of AI to enhance individual learning and development in the workplace, which however should not be overestimated. AI has a complementarity to individual intelligence, which can lead to an advancement, especially in quality, accuracy and precision. Moreover, AI has a potential to support individual competence development and organizational learning processes. However, a further outcome is that AI in the workplace is a double-edged sword, as it easily shows reinforcement effects in individual and organizational learning, which have a backside of unintended effects.Research limitations/implicationsThe conceptual outline makes use of examples for illustrating phenomenon but needs further empirical analysis. The research focus on the meso level of the workplace does not fully refer to macro level outcomes.Practical implicationsThe practical implication is that it is a matter of socio-technical job design to integrate AI in the workplace in a valuable manner. There is a need to keep the human-in-the-loop and to complement AI-based learning approaches with non-AI counterparts to reach augmentation.Originality/valueThe paper faces workplace learning from an interdisciplinary perspective and bridges insights from learning theory with methods from the machine learning community. It directs the social science discourse on AI, which is often on macro level to the meso level of the workplace and related issues for job design and therefore provides a complementary perspective. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The International Journal of Information and Learning Technology Emerald Publishing

Artificial intelligence in the workplace – A double-edged sword

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2056-4880
DOI
10.1108/ijilt-02-2020-0022
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to outline how artificial intelligence (AI) can augment learning process in the workplace and where there are limitations.Design/methodology/approachThe paper is a theoretical-based outline with reference to individual and organizational learning theory, which are related to machine learning methods as they are currently in use in the workplace. Based on these theoretical insights, the paper presents a qualitative evaluation of the augmentation potential of AI to assist individual and organizational learning in the workplace.FindingsThe core outcome is that there is an augmentation potential of AI to enhance individual learning and development in the workplace, which however should not be overestimated. AI has a complementarity to individual intelligence, which can lead to an advancement, especially in quality, accuracy and precision. Moreover, AI has a potential to support individual competence development and organizational learning processes. However, a further outcome is that AI in the workplace is a double-edged sword, as it easily shows reinforcement effects in individual and organizational learning, which have a backside of unintended effects.Research limitations/implicationsThe conceptual outline makes use of examples for illustrating phenomenon but needs further empirical analysis. The research focus on the meso level of the workplace does not fully refer to macro level outcomes.Practical implicationsThe practical implication is that it is a matter of socio-technical job design to integrate AI in the workplace in a valuable manner. There is a need to keep the human-in-the-loop and to complement AI-based learning approaches with non-AI counterparts to reach augmentation.Originality/valueThe paper faces workplace learning from an interdisciplinary perspective and bridges insights from learning theory with methods from the machine learning community. It directs the social science discourse on AI, which is often on macro level to the meso level of the workplace and related issues for job design and therefore provides a complementary perspective.

Journal

The International Journal of Information and Learning TechnologyEmerald Publishing

Published: Nov 9, 2020

Keywords: Artificial intelligence; Competence; Individual intelligence; Learning theory; Machine learning; Organizational learning; Socio-technical system; Workplace

References