AI can make life easier for disabled people to work

Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help businesses to access the “untapped pool” of disabled talent as companies have been experiencing a critical talent shortage for several years now.

This is an opinion held by Gartner in its “Predicts 2020: AI and the Future” report, that AI and other emerging technologies can make it more accessible for employees with disabilities to work.

It also believes that businesses that actively employ disabled people have an 89 per cent higher retention rate, a 72 per cent increase in employee productivity and a 29 per cent increase in profitability.  Also, that by 2023 the number of people with disabilities employed will triple due to AI.

Helen Poitevin, research vice-president at Gartner, said:

Some organisations are successfully using AI to make work accessible for those with special needs. Restaurants are piloting AI robotics technology that enables paralysed employees to control robotic waiters remotely. With technologies like braille-readers and virtual reality, organisations are more open to opportunities to employ a diverse workforce.

However, the rise of AI is also believed to replace over two-thirds of a manager’s workload. Gartner believes almost 69 per cent of the manager’s work will be completely automated.

AI could allow employees to “extend their degree of “responsibility and influence” without taking on management tasks.

Ms Poitevin said:

The role of manager will see a complete overhaul in the next four years Currently, managers often need to spend time filling in forms, updating information and approving workflows. By using AI to automate these tasks, they can spend less time managing transactions and can invest more time on learning, performance management and goal setting.

Canada Life Group research discovered that 40 per cent of employees feel that AI is only being adopted in the workplace purely for cost cutting reasons.

Only 27 per cent of employees believe their employer’s primary motivation for increasing automation is to free up more time for more complex and creative tasks.