The robots are coming for our jobs— this is what we’ve been warned. According to a study by the Mckinsey Global Institute, 800 million jobs will be replaced by artificial intelligence or robotic automation. That means if you are a software developer, a robot will write codes faster than you. If you are a chef, the AI-driven chef will make better dishes. And if you are a doctor, the upgraded version of IBM Watson may give better treatment. But, what about the CEOs? Is the CEO’s position also under threat?
With the rise of AI and automation, the concept of robot CEO doesn’t sound completely implausible. In fact, Alibaba CEO, Jack Ma proclaimed at a conference in China that in 30 years, a robot will likely be on the cover of Time Magazine as the best CEO. So would a robot leader be managing people in the decades to come? Let’s dig in deep to find the answer.
What It Would Be Like To Have Robot CEO?
Imagine a fully upright humanoid giving you orders to accomplish a task or handling the entire business operation at superhuman speed. It may sound uncanny but it would be significantly beneficial for a company. A machine might not be smarter than humans. But it can make more sound and objective decisions than humans by considering the factors beyond human sight. The decisions made by humans can be hugely impacted by the surrounding environment. For, instance, a bad meeting can influence the decision-making process of a CEO. However, robots don’t have such an issue. So, their decisions will be consistent, based on facts.
Another benefit of having a robot CEO is its 24/7 availability. An AI-driven CEO can work round the clock without any break. Unlike humans, they don’t even need sleep or holidays. The third and most significant benefit of having an AI CEO is faster execution in less cost. A robot can accomplish a complex task faster than human and it doesn’t ask for any income. So the cost will dramatically reduce.
Pitfalls of Having a Robot as CEO
Given that robots hold many advantages over humans, having a robot CEO actually makes a lot of sense. Robots never run out of energy, don’t get emotional and give steady, untiring and reliable performance. Does all this sound too good to be true? Yes, it is because unlike humans robots are not immune to hacking. Though it is possible for a human CEO to be corrupted by outside influence, generally they have the freedom to decide what they want. But the AI CEOs, on the other hand, could be completely ‘brain-washed’ by cybercriminals and could ruin a company in seconds.
And that’s not all. An AI-driven CEO will lack the human aspects such as empathy, values, creativity and emotional intelligence which are very crucial to run a business. The CEO’s ability to think beyond the algorithm and critical reasoning is something that we haven’t yet managed to develop in a robot. So, business operations such as customer meetings that require a high degree of personal interaction can’t be managed with just a robot. Thus, the idea of having a robot CEO is might be intriguing but it can have an adverse effect if robots are given too much responsibility in the future.
Just automating tasks can’t make a CEO efficient. Yes, it could boost up the business and its bottom line. But to engage, motivate and inspire employees, a CEO needs to have good leadership skills. Having a robot in charge may improve productivity but it can’t energize its employees and understand their emotions, at least not yet. Thus, we may see AI in our boardrooms in the future but it will still need a human touch to get the best out of a business.