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Synergy of creative problem solving and Artificial Intelligence: Need of the hour
Synergy of creative problem solving and Artificial Intelligence: Need of the hour
Merin

Consultant Psychologist , Draup

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Synergy of creative problem solving and Artificial Intelligence: Need of the hour

19 Oct 2020

Abstract

With the business world being more dynamic than before, organizations must be agile and adapt to industry disruptions. In the era of Industrialization 4.0, it is imperative to possess unique human capabilities, i.e. soft skills that complement technical knowledge. With AI evolving tremendously, machines have taken over the world. In such a scenario what distinguishes a competitive organization is the combination of their AI tech stack and their pool of creative problem-solvers that can aid in developing an innovative workspace through advanced business models. Hence, in this era of disruption, there is a greater emphasis on the combination of technology and human skills to deliver streamlined results.

Introduction

The business world is changing with tireless speed and every organization is relentlessly trying to adopt automation trends. With Industry 4.0, the impact of new-age technologies like machine learning, IoT and specifically Artificial intelligence are the new parameters of business innovation models.  With the benefit of AI, global boundaries have been diminished and augmentation of technologies to create an innovative workspace has been possible. Ranting the possibilities of AI and its imperativeness in the market, a recent research report suggests that 80% of the emerging technologies will have AI foundations by 2021 and a study by Statista quotes 84% of the global business organizations believe that AI will give them competitive advantages. Companies like Uber, Tesla, Alibaba have improvised their business models with the adoption of AI into their technology stack. As the industry is evolving with new age models, along with the core skills, employees should possess unique skills like creative problem solving to bring the business models to an advanced level.

AI today

Artificial intelligence – a coined by John McCarthy in 1956 – to date, has remained an elusive area for the business world.  The impact of AI on business strategies and its unparalleled benefits has been a hot topic in the arena. From finding a location through google maps to robots performing surgeries in healthcare industries, AI has come a long way and it is here to stay!

The use of modern algorithms powered by artificial intelligence in solving business problems, sales and marketing, finance, data-driven decision making and other processes enables streamlined results. With the increasing automation trends, employees are worried about the massive threat to their jobs. A study by reports that intelligent robots could replace as much as 30% of the world’s current human labor by 2030. This is the one side view of the coin, but the brighter side of automation is that it allows increased bandwidth for humans to avoid mundane tasks and devote more time to create impactful innovation in the industry. Industry problems being unique and evolving, AI alone cannot solve the riddle. A unique combination of AI and soft skills like creative problem solving would help us to master the challenges in the arena. There has been a shift of demand to soft skills or human skills by employers due to the unique capability of humans to adapt and reskill themselves to keep abreast of the changing technology market.

Age of soft skills

Soft skills are unique characteristics that include people skills, problem-solving, agility, creativity, leadership, etc., that complements the core skills of employees to excel in the workplace. It is imperative to possess soft skills in this dynamic environment to reskill yourselves and be a potential employee in the workplace. According to a LinkedIn study, 91% of companies consider soft skills as a required competency for the workforce and over 80% of them are struggling for a skilled talent pool. Project Oxygen by Google focused on revamping hiring strategies, reported a surprising fact that the top 7 characteristics which made Googlers successful were soft skills. Retail giants like Walmart have even progressed to advanced methods like virtual training methods for soft skills. Our meta-analysis showed that 92% of the respondents rated soft skills as a critical factor in the workplace that speaks volumes of imperativeness of soft skills. Creative problem solving is of utmost importance in the era of AI and Machine learning to yield the best output.

Creative problem solving

Creative problem solving involves understanding the problem, devising innovative solutions and implementing them for better results. It is one of the irreplaceable quality of humans and cannot be replaced by automation soon. Creativity includes thinking out of the box, identifying connections between abstract concepts, which are human abilities. The two approaches that are involved in creative problem solving are divergent and convergent thinking. Convergent thinking includes evaluating one concrete option to solve the problem, while divergent thinking involves generating multiple ideas and evaluating them to choose the most optimal solution. It is imperative to distinguish the convergent and divergent thinking patterns for devising optimal and novel solutions. According to a study conducted by Adobe, 85% of educators and 84% of policymakers reported that creative problem-solving skills are in high demand for senior-level and higher paying job roles.

The synergy of artificial intelligence and creative problem-solving skills can open up doors to unexplored opportunities in the technology world. Microsoft’s AI assistant, Cortana, was developed with the right personality like being confident and helpful through the team of poets, novelists and a playwright. In short, technologies solely cannot accomplish the tasks; you would require a pinch of creative people to solve the problem and arrive at efficient results.

Bridging the gap of efficiency by powering AI with creative problem solvers.

Collaborative intelligence, where AI and humans join to complement each other’s strengths to develop innovative solutions, has been a new idea in the arena. With the creative problem-solving skills, AI can evolve to an advanced level that includes foreseeing the problems, out of the box solutions and thereby inventing an innovative workspace. With the help of creative problem-solving skills, advanced algorithms can be developed which transform AI into a higher-order innovative solution. Through the process of creative problem solving, automated technologies can improve the biases that might affect problem-solving and evolve within itself to augment the technology with human creativity. Brands like Coca-Cola and Walt Disney Co. are using AI to reinvent the promotion strategies; transformational AI trends like these will push the boundaries of creativity and provide platforms to reinvent a new algorithm of artificial intelligence.

The future of the industry is augmented machines & robots built on the foundation of artificial intelligence and various new-age technologies. Employers should remain agile to understand the new trends as well as create revolutionized technologies and be the influencers. For becoming the opinion leaders in the industry and create waves of disruption, recruiters should focus on building their team of creative problem-solvers. Employers should foster the creative problem-solving skills of the workforce through advanced technologies that can support the process, conduct augmented and virtual reality workshops, etc.

Draup for Talent has devised various models to identify the soft skills required for the job roles based on the analysis of millions of job descriptions, company websites, official labor statistics of various countries, etc. Draup has envisioned the impact of soft skills on the industry and proactively developed soft competency models. The talent model also identifies the skilled talent pool in various locations based on the roles which aid in recruitment. Hence, it is easier to tap into the talent pool in each location, thereby solving the major concern of hiring managers.

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