Artificial Intelligence is not about replacing humans

Artificial intelligence (AI) is not about replacing people but augmenting them, a conference was told.

At the Art of Procurement event, Paris, the benefits of artificial intelligence in procurement and how technology can add value to the procurement sector were discussed.

According to Hélène Paul, CPO at Michelin, smart procurement system is all about creating value to suppliers and enhancing the user experience of both internal & external parties.

She said that while people have concerns about how the latest technologies such as AI and machine learning can have a potential impact on jobs in future, these latest technologies can add value to businesses as well as consumers by reducing buyers time in order to complete high-value tasks.

Adding to this she said, “We shouldn’t think of AI as replacing what humans do, it’s adding intelligence to what they do.”

“It’s enabling our buyers to focus on more added-value activities and having the low added-value activities being helped by a machine using data.”

“I like to consider it augmented intelligence, rather than artificial. We aren’t replacing anything, we’re adding more,” Hélène Paul said.

Sylvie Noël, CPO at Covéa Insurance also agreed that artificial intelligence brings the required potential for buyers to focus on those tasks which are of high value, while rest of the things are taken care by automation.

“The goal is to have a tool such as AI completing the non-valuable tasks by automation, not only for my team but also for our total supply chain.”, said Sylvie Noël. Adding to this, she said, “I want the buying process to be quick and efficient but controlled.”

Aurélien Coquard, head of AI at Ivalua, Apart from automation, AI can be used in a few different ways in procurement.

He said, “For example, if you have a lot of contracts and you need to know what contracts present a risk, you could read all the contracts individually but that would take years, whereas AI can analyse those contracts and give you information”.