AI and project management – is it losing the human touch?

The idea of automated intelligence or AI is nothing new in fact it has been around since the first assembly lines of Henry Ford, but in recent years it has been becoming increasingly commonplace. The number of companies who are increasing their use of automation to reduce costs is increasing. The big question is, however, just how much automation can we put in place. Also, when is it too much that businesses risk losing that human touch which is still so important to customers? And, perhaps most importantly, if you’re currently undertaking training for project managers, will all your study be in vain>

What is AI?

You might not realise it, but a significant number of people already have AI in their homes. If you have Siri, Google Home or Alexa then you are communicating with a system that uses AI in order to complete simple day to day tasks.

The dictionary definition of AI is “the simulation of human intelligence processes created by machines, particularly computer systems.” Specific applications which AI are used for include natural language processing, expert systems, machine vision and speech recognition. It can be used in a wide range of applications and is being increasingly used to replace some of the simpler tasks that have previously been done by humans. This AI can accurately complete more mundane tasks quickly and without any of those errors that can occur when a human is doing a simple monotonous task day in day out for a long period of time.

How is AI used in project management?

There are already a number of AI systems being used by companies, including chatbots although this is not a project management tool. There are also algorithms that in collaboration with bots can help you to share data in order to find more efficient ways of doing things. And whilst these are also not AI, they do give a good indication of just how it can be possible to use this type of technology in order to find more efficient ways of doing things. It is an understanding of how this works that shows just what the potential can be in terms of AI in project management for a wide range of industries.

It isn’t time to worry  as when it comes to project management AI is still in its initial stages. It is expected that it will have the ability to alter the way a project is delivered and help project management to evolve. The one thing it will never be able to do – something that is very important in project management – is bring the human element.

It is likely that AI will not replace but rather assist project managers. On its own it will not equal success however when used correctly it will help to increase the success rate of a project. It will be important for training courses for project managers to evolve so learners will see beyond the normal way in which projects are managed and understand how this type of technology will be able to drive positive changes and also add real value.