The use of artificial intelligence (AI) could eliminate accusations of privilege and bias and foster a greater meritocracy in the workplace, according to a new global study released by Pegasystems, the software company empowering customer engagement at the world’s leading enterprises.

Organisations are coming under increased scrutiny over whether they attract and promote the best talent regardless of age, gender, and race, and the remuneration policies for those in management positions. The study found that more than two thirds (66 percent) of senior executives believe the widespread use of advanced analytics and AI could make businesses more diverse by giving rise to a fairer, more transparent system based on matching recognition to individual performance.

An overwhelming 84 percent agree it will become commonplace for AI to calculate the true value added by each worker within the next ten years, allowing organisations to reward and promote employees according to their effectiveness using accurate, real-time data, with almost half (44 percent) expecting to see this change occur in the next five years.  Meanwhile, almost three quarters (74 percent) of respondents think it will become standard practice to use AI to evaluate employee performance within the next 10 years, with 72 percent predicting it will be commonly used to set appropriate rewards within the same timeframe.

The rise of the digital co-worker is also expected to change wider work culture. For example, 35 percent of respondents ) think AI will lead to a decline in office politics, suggesting that increased transparency will not only make workplaces more diverse, but also more harmonious.

“There’s no doubt AI has the power to fundamentally transform the way businesses leverage the talent they have at their disposal,” says John Everhard, director, Pegasystems. “Where organisations could once leave themselves open to accusations of bias or privilege in this respect, today’s Workforce Intelligence tools can now objectively evaluate an employee’s contribution in real time, allowing them to promote and remunerate talent based on the value added by each individual. With the correct level of oversight and governance, this could result in the workplace of the future becoming a far more diverse, meritocratic, and even harmonious place for employees.”