AI And Automation Can improve Productivity And Give Us 'Superpowers'

John Kucera
SVP Product Management at Salesforce

AI makes computers smarter to a whole different level, and automation makes everything a breeze.

With the internet and the digital transformations of work and businesses, automation can help by taking away the tedious, the "drudgerous", the inaccuracies from processes, which can then free people up to do the work that they really like to do.

John Kucera is the SVP of Product Management for Automation at Salesforce.

Working at a company that helps customers automate workflows and connect apps using low-code or no-code tools, Kucera believes that automation can help digital transformation, like in times during the 'COVID-19' coronavirus pandemic, where businesses "had to do two years of digital transformation in two weeks or two months."

"Nobody wants to be copy and pasting things on a form a 100 times a day. And so we've actually found a surprising insight is that automation has helped with employee satisfaction and retention. Not what some people have thought might be the impact," he said.

Automation is all about augmenting human workers, and eliminating the tedious repetitive tasks that people had to do manually.

John Kucera.

According to Kucera:

"And so automation, I see, as really a digital assistant that gives us superpowers. It takes away those tedious, those silly things that we don't want to have to do. Nobody wants to go between the two different systems and move data. They don't want to have to look between places and do those updates."

"What it really does is frees us up to what we are uniquely gifted at, making hard judgment decisions and building relationships."

"And so we've seen that this has been a huge boon for our customers and that a lot of the fears that I've seen out there in the press are not really justified."

"As much as technology software people might say that it's going to improve productivity and it does. Fundamentally, it doesn't replace people, it frees them up to do these higher level tasks that also they like doing. So they're happier in their jobs and retention rates go up."

And when considering AI and where the technology comes to help in the process of automation, Kucera said that it helps make predictions and recommendations.

"And fundamentally it's like an assistant to people. So people are really good at the judgment decisions and building relationships. AI gives us recommendations to help make those decisions. And then if we're confident enough in those predictions or recommendations, we then say, okay, AI, great, just do that."

From digital assistants to chatbots that understand what users are trying to say, to AI that can extract text and images to figure out what's in them, to those that can help make recommendations to users of what to do and so forth, "AI is helping us make those better decisions."

And when users who are using them have confidence in using the technology, their are actually taking those actions to make these better experiences.

With that, Kucera considers automation and AI, "like peanut butter and chocolate."

And as AI models get smarter, things will be even easier for users to use.

Users don't need to be "a data scientist," but yet, they can use all of the insights, like collecting the data to unlock many other possibilities.

Before automation and AI have become the thing, Kucera wasn't confident about the two technologies.

But fast forward, "we're able to introduce things like form reader, where you can put a driver's license, or any type of different PDF that you have and say with confidence, this is exactly what the people have written in there even if it's with a hand scribble."

In the world where people expect things to happen in an instant, speed is the key. And here, AI and automation are the superpowers we need to improve productivity.