Skip to main content


Putting AI in the group

With the unemployment rate in South Africa reaching 29 percent in 2019 and the Chamber of Commerce predicting that the jobless rate could rise to 50 percent as a result of the plummeting economy amid the Covid-19 pandemic, South African organisations need a deliberate strategy and approach towards adopting AI to leverage the benefits promised by AI without adding to the unemployment rate.

In our Global Human Capital Trends survey, 70 percent of the global respondents said that their organisations were exploring or using AI at some level, with 62 percent of South African respondents saying the same. With the ever-growing immersion of AI in our organisations, it is not a question of whether it will affect jobs, but rather how. Organisations face a fundamental choice: whether to use AI solely to automate tasks formerly performed by people, or to use it to assist workers as well.

radiction to the 62 percent of South African respondents who said their organisations are exploring or using AI at some level, only 18 percent of respondents felt ready to redesign jobs to integrate AI technology 66 percent of organisations in South Africa say the redesign of jobs to integrate AI technology is important or very important for their success, but only 21 percent say they are ready to address this trend.

Our data is showing some gaps in how organisations are using AI to assist and augment their workforce, for example the way organisations report using AI to assist workers is limited, focusing more on increasing consistency and productivity than on increasing value.

As organisations progress further along this spectrum, the degree to which technology can transform organisational outputs increases. At the first stage, substitution, the new outputs allow for reduced costs and improved efficiency. At the second stage, augmentation, a greater degree of transformation drives greater value and expanded opportunities, as well as reducing costs and improving efficiency.

At the third stage, collaboration, a still greater degree of transformation enables the work and the outputs to take on more meaning for workers and customers— as well as driving greater gains in costs, efficiency, and value. Organisations that choose to integrate humans and AI into superteams can realise much greater value by redesigning work in transformative ways to drive.

Did you find this useful?

Thanks for your feedback

If you would like to help improve further, please complete a 3-minute survey