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As featured on BusinessMirror: Generative AI for the Workforce

To realize the most value from generative AI, organizations need to rethink how their people work. That is because adopting it is not simply about upgrading to the latest technology—it is about using generative AI’s revolutionary capabilities across the enterprise to create more productive, efficient and innovative workers.

Without a thorough workforce review and overhaul plan, organizations risk missing out on the strategic and operational opportunities that implementing generative AI creates. The technology’s ability to process natural language, digest large amounts of data and produce unique content make it a potent tool for automating and enhancing knowledge work. This is the new frontier of AI-enabled productivity, where industries like financial services and law will create much of their value.

With a well-constructed plan, organizations have an opportunity to define the workforce of the future and draw top talent to a best-in-class professional development environment employing leading-edge technology and work practices.

The rise of generative AI technology marks a significant shift in how businesses operate, especially in the Philippines. This transformative tool has immense potential to revolutionize various sectors.

The key to adopting generative AI lies not in replacing workers but in empowering them to concentrate on more vital tasks and enhancing their creativity and decision-making abilities. For a country with a tech-savvy workforce like the Philippines, embracing this emerging innovation presents a unique opportunity that can drive business success.

Doris Aura Pastoriza
Technology Consulting Principal and Intelligent Automation Sector Head
KPMG in the Philippines

Changing knowledge work

Generative AI is a step-change in technology-enabled working. Traditional AI and machine learning have excelled at numerical processing and optimization, making them an excellent solution for automating and accelerating specific tasks. Generative AI is different because of its potential to spur innovation in all kinds of roles by drawing from its massive foundation of organized knowledge. Generative AI is intuitive and adaptable. Not only can it handle simple workflow automations, but also it can support and inform knowledge workers, super-charging their creativity and decision-making.

This creates huge opportunities to augment the power of people quickly and drive businesses forward. The key is building an intentional and sustainable strategy of upskilling, overhauling and augmenting roles. To accomplish this will require focusing on how and where the technology can best be applied not to replacing workers, but to empowering them to be more productive on high-value tasks.

This change to workforce composition, roles, skills, and organization structures, alongside generative AI systems, is imperative. Companies that collaborate cross-functionally to deploy generative AI thoughtfully, govern it responsibly, and integrate it seamlessly, will gain sustainable competitive advantage.

The approach cannot be piecemeal. Organizations must commit to a holistic workforce transformation. By thoughtfully deploying generative AI across critical roles, they can improve productivity, cost efficiency, innovation velocity, and revenue growth. And it is all possible without leaving humans behind.

A framework for reshaping the workforce

There is no question that generative AI will disrupt how businesses and people work. Minimizing the shock to the workforce, managing organizational risk, and realizing the full value of adopting the technology is possible through a cross-functional, holistic approach focused on four key areas:

1.     Identifying capabilities, roles and enablers

  • Identify high-impact knowledge worker roles and prioritize by value opportunity.
  • Deconstruct the work by role to explore how activities can be automated, enhanced with AI: impacts on repetitive tasks, adding to creativity and critical thinking.
  • Identify AI solutions, alliances, partners and technology enablers.

2.     Addressing risk and compliance

  • Revisit safeguards of privacy and confidentiality when utilizing data in the context of responsible AI.
  • Establish ongoing policy and compliance capability for internal and external monitoring and revision.
  • Actively manage relevant compliance and regulatory topics by jurisdiction.
  • Set ethical and intentional guidelines and policies.

3.     Activating role augmentation

  • Deploy impactful generative AI solutions and vendor-specific AI capabilities through strategic alliance partnerships pointed at prioritized role augmentation.
  • Manage ongoing active alliance and vendor based generative AI innovation applicability analysis.
  • Adopt, monitor, refine, train and optimize generative AI usage across the enterprise by role.

4.     Capturing value

  •  Capture productivity and capacity through SG&A savings, productivity enhancement, re-investment through workforce shaping.
  • Differentiate and create value through business- specific generative AI training and data.
  • Anticipate and activate organizational changes from generative AI, ensuring employees are engaged, informed, and supported.
  • Refresh and modernize workforce strategy with work breakdown and who does what work.

The role of human resources

Human resources (HR) will play a pivotal role in designing and driving a generative AI-focused workforce optimization plan. For generative AI to be successfully implemented, the workforce needs to understand it and embrace it. That means the organization must do its part to identify the opportunities and risks to workforce stability and business continuity and proactively develop a plan for managing this workforce transition.

That includes talent planning, both to understand opportunities for sourcing workers and to evaluate the types of skills required for new generative AI co-working models. It also means reimagining the employee experience, including reviewing how the workforce is evaluated and rewarded and how new roles might impact morale and productivity. It is also imperative to identify and protect critical roles so the business can continue to deliver for customers through workforce reengineering.

During this highly transitional period, HR’s goal should be to become a true innovation hub for the enterprise. It should drive new ways of thinking, deconstructing outdated structures and roles that were developed during the industrial revolution. It should also work to ensure that the human element is never lost in this new dynamic. The rise of generative AI presents an incredible opportunity for HR to step up and become strategically important to the business in new ways.

How KPMG can help

An early and enthusiastic advocate for the power of AI, KPMG is well positioned to help your organization leverage generative AI. Drawing on our deep experience in machine learning and natural language processing, we can help guide your organization through strategy, use case development, vendor selection, and implementation— and then provide ongoing support to help you enhance your investment in this transformative technology. We understand both the promise of generative AI and the process and cultural changes that will be required to realize its full potential.

KPMG also recognizes that all users of generative AI have a responsibility to learn about the technology’s risks and how to control those risks to prevent harm to customers, businesses and society. Those risks will grow and evolve as AI technology advances and becomes more pervasive, and as public pressure from regulators increases.

The excerpt was taken from the KPMG Thought Leadership publication: https://kpmg.com/us/en/articles/2023/generative-ai-human-capital.html?utm_source=linkedin&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=7014W0000024ExtQAE&cid=7014W0000024ExtQAE&utm_content=4d3e86a0-461c-45a2-9d9d-02f3545c0001

© 2023 R.G. Manabat & Co., a Philippine partnership and a member firm of the KPMG global organization of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Limited, a private English company limited by guarantee. All rights reserved.

For more information, you may reach out to KPMG in the Philippines Technology Consulting Principal and Intelligent Automation Sector Head Doris Aura Pastoriza through ph-kpmgmla@kpmg.com, social media or visit www.home.kpmg/ph.