Video tutorial: Capita’s Doug Brown and Lee Johnson on human v machine in a digital driven workplace

Employees can still be their authentic selves in a digitally driven workplace, according to Doug Brown, chief data scientist at Capita Employee Solutions.

Speaking at the REBA Innovation Day 2018 he and colleague Lee Johnson, head of HR consulting at Capita Employee Solutions, said humans and robots each had their value but that the two needed to work together. “AI should be here to augment and amplify human decision making not replace it,” said Brown.

He said that despite the trend for AI, humans still add critical value to the business by capitalising and maximising skills that machines cannot replicate - such as using common sense to solve problems, displaying feelings, emotions and empathy and being creative and having imagination. Brown explained that requires a new approach by some organisations. “We may not be replaced but we need to replace our thinking,” he said.

“Think about activities in certain roles not necessarily occupations,” said Brown, explaining that rather than replacing entire jobs robots are more likely instead to automate particular tasks within those jobs.

Johnson said it was important for businesses to keep the human touch as part of their company culture. “AI should support people in work it should never replace them,” he said.

This video was recorded at the REBA Innovation Day 2018, held in London on 22 November.

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