Shirley Ogolla is a Researcher at the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society and researchers the use of artificial intelligence in the workplace. In her research project "AI and Knowledge Work - Implications, Possibilities and Risks", she examines implications, design options and risks for employees and companies by examining concrete use cases of intelligent and autonomous systems.
1. What is your research project about?
We are investigating the use of artificial intelligence (AI) applications at the intra-organizational workplace of knowledge workers. We investigate the intentions and strategies with which AI applications are used in the workplace, which changes are experienced by those involved and how staff, companies and co-determination actors react to them. Methodologically, the work is guided by an empirical qualitative social science research design. The project thus follows on from existing research on the digitization of the world of work and complements it with empirical findings on the use of AI applications in the knowledge workplace within organizations in Germany.
2. Which questions does the project aim to answer?
The majority of the AI projects reported by our interview partners are motivated by two directions: First, many cite overwhelming workloads for knowledge workers as a starting point. Secondly, many explain that AI applications are part of the digitalization of their business model and should, therefore, make a decisive contribution to their competitiveness in the future. Most of the companies in our sample report that they have been pursuing a digitization strategy for some time now and would benefit from using AI. All in all, I was surprised by how diverse and widespread AI applications already are in Germany. This shows us how vital research like ours is, which deals with this topic.
3. Which AI innovation would you personally wish for most?
I would be interested in an AI application that does research far away from the academic ivory tower, inaccessible to readers with little background knowledge, for example, by explaining terms in a way that is individually adapted for the reasders.