Artificial Intelligence – Challenge for Leadership?

I have recently been reading with a great deal of interest many articles and writings on social media and other print media about the likely, often very scary, impact of AI (artificial intelligence) on the work of the future. One report said that nearly 25 million jobs in India could be rendered non-existent by 2030. This is truly worrisome. It is a challenge for business leadership. It is a challenge that needs to be addressed today in order to survive and sustain the future of work.

Leadership effectiveness, particularly in the business context, largely depends on the effectiveness of the people that are led. If people become ineffective for some reason, it adversely impacts the effectiveness of leadership. Known and proven management theories of motivation may no longer be valid. The world around us has been changed irrevocably and a new norm has come into practice. Technology has played a critical and significant role in the transformation of the work place. In this scenario, the aspirations and expectations of those that are led have been changing fast and in dramatic ways. How do leaders set a vision and a strategic path for the organisation in a state of flux and a state of continuous change?

Artificial intelligence is just one of the many impactful versions in which technology will change the work place and home for all of us. Using machine learning and artificial intelligence, repetitive and non-creative tasks and jobs could be done, perhaps better, by machines. People will need to upskill, reskill, and be redeployed to continue to be relevant and effective. Leadership will need to find innovative ways and be an enabler in this process.

These are some of my thoughts.

by Prof S Balasubramanian