The way we work is fast changing, and a lot of credit for it goes to artificial intelligence. Two years ago, Gartner reported that "7 per cent of top-performing companies rank AI/ML (artificial intelligence/machine learning) as a game-changing technology." But within a year, that figure swelled to 40 per cent. A Gartner report mentions that the augmentation of AI technology will generate $2.9 trillion in business value and recover 6.2 billion hours of worker productivity in 2021. One of the critical aspects of AI is how it can be utilized to enable individual knowledge workers, boosting their productivity and feeding them timely information furthering key business objectives.
In no time at all, artificial intelligence has made a swift transition from the world of far-off, sci-fi futurism to objects we now carry in our pockets, let drive our cars, and even order our pizzas. From automated assistance software, like Zoom.ai, to platforms offering machine learning capabilities like SparkCognition.com, As such, a few key questions have emerged. Will robots take our jobs? Those arguing for the power of A.I. to solve productivity challenges claim combining human and machine-thinking will dramatically augment our cognitive abilities.
Worker-Centric Workplaces in Smart Factories (FACTS4WORKERS.EU) is a project coordinated by VIRTUAL VEHICLE in the Horizon 2020 program of the European Commission within the Factory of the Future P PP. The vision of FACTS4WORKERS is to leverage the large potential added value of manufacturing data, information and knowledge in a worker-centred way to achieve worker empowerment, resulting in higher worker satisfaction and increased worker productivity. It is the high ambition of our project to create "FACTorieS for WORKERS" (FACTS4WORKERS), therefore a serious effort will be put into integrating already available IT enablers into a seamless & flexible Smart Factory infrastructure based on worker-centric and data-driven technology building blocks. As FACTS4WORKERS is underpinned by a clear human-centric approach: usability, user experience and technology acceptance are of the utmost project interest. FACTS4WORKERS will develop and demonstrate workplace solutions that support the inclusion of increasing elements of knowledge work on the factory floor.
In the next five to ten years, your workplace will look fundamentally different. Thanks to technologies such as artificial intelligence, the internet of things and robotics work as we know it will drastically change. The future of work will come with great opportunities but also with plenty of challenges for organisations. It will require employees and management to adapt and work smarter. AI will augment your jobs, the Internet of Things will provide you with details insights and robotics will replace many jobs.
Knowledge workers perform work on many tasks per day and often switch between tasks. When performing work on a task, a knowledge worker must typically search, navigate and dig through file systems, documents and emails, all of which introduce friction into the flow of work. This friction can be reduced, and productivity improved, by capturing and modeling the context of a knowledge worker's task based on how the knowledge worker interacts with an information space. Captured task contexts can be used to facilitate switching between tasks, to focus a user interface on just the information needed by a task and to recommend potentially other useful information.