Report predicts 69% of managers' routine work will be completely automated by 2024

A new Gartner study predicts AI will replace managers' daily responsibilities and create jobs for the underused population of those with disabilities.

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Will AI render managers obsolete by 2024? Perhaps not entirely, but a new report from Gartner predicts that with innovation and the responsible adoption of AI tech, the tedium of managers' paper flow will be greatly reduced by an estimated 69%.

"The role of manager will see a complete overhaul in the next four years," said Helen Poitevin, research vice president at Gartner, in a release. 

"Currently, managers spend time filling in forms, updating information and approving workflows. By using AI to automate these tasks, they can spend less time managing transactions and can invest more time on learning, performance management and goal setting."

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AI will influence the office , but the level at which it does, will be based on new tech advances, organizational readiness to exploit, and worker attitudes, the report, "Predicts 2020: AI and the Future of Work," found. Because managers are invariably privy to planned tech changes, where and when the company stands in adopting the tech, and the in-office environment, their presence in a supervisorial capacity is essential.

AI diversifies

AI, the report finds, will help to make companies more diverse as it makes work more accessible for the disabled and by 2023, that population in the workforce will triple (currently only 31% of the workforce is disabled). 

Organizations that actively employ those with disabilities have an 89% higher retention rate, a 72% increase in employee productivity and a 29% increase in profitability. 

Notably, the impending rise of AR and VR will have a considerable impact. The report also notes that companies who do not take advantage of what the innovation will bring—and hire those with disabilities—will not be able to keep up with competitors who do.

The report cites examples of restaurants using AI robotic tech which enables paralyzed employees to control robotic waiters. 

Major US companies like Ford, JPMorgan Chase and Microsoft host VR career fairs tailored to the needs of neuro-diverse candidates. Enterprise Rent-A-Car now has software in its reservation system with braille-reader tech

The workforce is aging and that means a rising rate of disabilities in the current workforce; the median age for a US worker is 42 and has risen steadily since 1978.

Prep for this previously untapped job force

Gartner recommends managers explicitly prioritize accessibility when implementing new tech systems . They recommend scalable accommodation during development and upgrades rather than waiting for the need to arise.

IT leaders need to send alerts regarding where and how accessibility tech has been deployed to avoid redundancy.

Don't create special teams, etc. around accessibility. Those with disabilities are a growing segment of the workforce and accessibility must be incorporated as core principle to the organization, rather than a special project. 

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By N.F. Mendoza

N.F. Mendoza is a writer at TechRepublic and based in Los Angeles. She has a BA in Broadcast Journalism and Cinema Critical Studies and a Master's of Professional Writing, both from USC. Nadine has more than 20 years experience as a journalist coveri...