A new report from UCL students and consultancy firm Capgemini argues that while generative AI (commonly referred to as GenAI) will improve productivity, support innovation and enable more human creativity in the workplace, allowing it to do so will require a transformation in the nature of work itself. Carried out at the UCL School of Management’s Analytics Lab, the report also explores the growth of GenAI and its impact on people, processes and organisations.
Citing research from McKinsey that Generative AI has achieved ‘explosive growth’ and will ‘unleash the next wave of productivity’, the authors note that the technology is predicted to heavily impact sales, marketing software engineering, customer operations and product R&D in particular. It is also likely to impact organisations at all levels, though not without organisational and structural challenges.
Given existing societal fears surrounding AI and its potential impact on jobs, the authors argue that trust will be a key ingredient in its implementation. In other words, the AI itself not only needs to be trustworthy, but it also needs to be trusted by the people that use it. However, the authors also note that a transformation of the nature of work is crucial to the adoption of GenAI. The interface between people and AI needs to combine both skill and human qualities, yet people ultimately need to be in control of the technology. As the authors note:
“As AI takes on more complex activities, it will become more difficult for people and AI to work together. In particular, AI will need to be able to explain itself. But this is a difficulty since machine learning (including GenAI) cannot explain why it does what it does. So, interactions with GenAI will need careful design.”
Ultimately, the report argues that organisations will need an incremental, integrated transformation in order to implement GenAI effectively, since the workforce and GenAI will evolve together iteratively. This will enable organisations to mitigate the risks and understnad the opportunities of using GenAI and deliver the benefits at scale.