As AI technologies advance, the world is increasingly split on how to feel about it. On one side of the fence, commuters wait with baited breath for Lyft and Uber to make advancements in self driving cars, while on the other hand, workers everywhere can imagine the broad reaches of AI technology soon ousting them out of their jobs. India’s transport minister has even gone so far as to ban self driving technology before it exists.
But before loosing too much sleep pondering whether or not robots are going to replace your job, or imagining your hands free commute, it may be beneficial to take a moment to consider the current technological revolution in a historical context, and look at how AI technology is currently working side by side humans.
The truth is, historically, technology has helped create more jobs than it has destroyed. When the computer was introduced to the world, many suffered from “Computerphobia” fearing they would all soon lose their jobs and be replaced. But now, we understand computers have been a powerful tool, that have only changed the types of jobs we have, not eliminated them.
One company which is looking to blend the rational processing of technology with the personal touch of a human is Qurious. This startup boosts sales teams’ performance by improving the quality of conversations using AI technology to deliver cues during telephone conversations. The San Francisco-based startup shows real-time battle cards in response to customer’s questions and objections during sales calls with real-time speech recognition.
Qurious tracks the back and forth of the conversation, analyzing what’s being said and how it’s said. When Qurious detects a trigger during a phone call, such as a buying signal or objection from the customer, it shows a contextually relevant battlecard to the salesperson to help guide the conversation as it’s happening. For example, If a salesperson is rambling Qurious nudges the salesperson to stop talking and ask a question.
“We recognized the need for this product as we began our career selling natural language processing software into enterprises,” says Sabrina Atienza, Qurious’ CEO and co-founder. “Selling was hard. It’s difficult to remember exactly what to say and when; there’s no way to track what works. We have seen many startups collapse due to failure to scale sales cost-effectively. We wanted to create real-time voice A.I. to help salespeople ramp faster, win more deals, and be able to iterate on what’s actually working.”
Ultimately, the job scene is always evolving. From the days when everything was made by hand, to the Luddites’ rejection of machines and now our fear of being replaced by robots and AI. The reality is there will always be advancements in one way or another, but even with these advancements there will still be a demand for a human touch in certain jobs, like the telephone sales example with Qurious. As a result, the introduction of technology does not necessarily lead to low employment, instead it can lead to enhanced work performance. You might not be able to go for a beer with your new robot co-worker, but they might be the reason you get off work earlier.