Delivery mode





Cognitive Automation and its Impacts on Skill Erosion of Individuals

Welcome to this dynamic two-hour Aalto EE Master Class to broaden your understanding of cognitive automation, its impact on your organization and far-reaching implications for knowledge work.

Cognitive automation powered by advanced intelligent technologies is increasingly enabling organizations to automate more of their knowledge work tasks. Although this often offers higher efficiency, effectiveness and lower costs, cognitive automation also exacerbates the erosion of human skill and expertise in automated tasks.

This Master Class will demonstrate how increasing reliance on automation fosters complacency at both individual and organizational levels, weakening workers’ mindfulness across three work task facets (activity awareness, competence maintenance, and output assessment), resulting in skill erosion. Such erosion of skills may go unnoticed, unacknowledged by both workers and managers.

While accepting the erosion of obsolete skills is necessary to reap the benefits of technology, the erosion of essential human expertise is problematic especially if workers remain accountable for tasks for which they lack sufficient understanding. This renders them incapable of responding in case the automation fails, for which it is crucial for managers to understand the potential detrimental effects of automation in organizations.

During this Master Class you’ll have an opportunity to ask questions and engage in a discussion with the session educators, equipping you with the knowledge to balance the benefits and risks of cognitive automation effectively. Secure your spot for the live Master Class now!

Register  Contact us


June 13, 2024


Schedule Contact us

Contact us


This Master Class will broaden the participants’ understanding of cognitive automation to consider the consequences of automation on knowledge work tasks more deeply.

Gain insights into cognitive automation's impact on knowledge work.
Understand the potential detrimental effects of automation and how to avoid skill erosion in your organization.
Engage directly with Aalto University experts to deepen your knowledge and apply insights effectively.


This Master Class is relevant for all practitioners involved in projects that aim to automate knowledge work tasks whether it is with rule-based automation like robotic process automation or with artificial intelligence such as machine learning-enabled systems (e.g., business experts, managers, IT experts, IT managers, CIOs, HR experts).  

Contents and Schedule

Within the two hours, you will:

  • Understand the dynamics related to employees’ skills and the organizational implementation of cognitive automation tools
  • Grasp the concepts of automation reliance and automation complacency
  • Think about how unintended skill erosion of employees might be avoided in the participant’s own organization



Meet your instructors: Esko Penttinen & Joona Ruissalo


Introduction to the topic: Defining Cognitive Automation and Introducing the Two Sides of Skill Erosion



The first part of the Master Class: Case of Skill Erosion in a Financial Accounting Organization


Q&A and Discussion



The second part of the Master Class: Uncovering the Dynamics of Skill Erosion on Individual and Organizational Levels


Q&A and Discussion


Key Takeaways



Esko Penttinen

Esko Penttinen is Associate Professor (tenured) in Information Systems at Aalto University School of Business. Penttinen holds a D.Sc. in Information Systems Science and a M.Sc. in Economics from Helsinki School of Economics.

Penttinen's research helps organizations understand the intricacies related to the implementation of various forms of artificial intelligence, harnessing its benefits and avoiding the pitfalls. Penttinen is an avid student of the interplay between humans and machines, curious to generate insights on how to coordinate work tasks efficiently between the two. Penttinen's research has also addressed the more traditional information systems topics such as organizational governance issues related to outsourcing and virtual work. Penttinen's main practical expertise lies in the assimilation and economic implications of inter-organizational information systems, focusing on application areas such as electronic financial systems, government reporting, and electronic invoicing. Penttinen's research has appeared in leading IS outlets such as MIS Quarterly, Journal of the Association for Information Systems, Information Systems Journal, European Journal of Information Systems, Journal of Information Technology, International Journal of Electronic Commerce, MIS Quarterly Executive, and Electronic Markets.

Besides teaching and research activities, Penttinen leads the Real-Time Economy Competence Center and he is the co-founder and chairman of XBRL Finland (www.xbrl.fi). Both these initiatives aim to design and develop systems and infrastructures to facilitate the move to electronic financial administration processes. In 2019-2023, Penttinen acted as the Finnish board representative in the IRIS association, which is the Scandinavian information systems community responsible for organizing the yearly IRIS/SCIS conference and overseeing the Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems.

Joona Ruissalo

Joona Ruissalo is a Postdoctoral Researcher in Information Systems Science at Aalto University School of Business.

Ruissalo's research focuses on how the design, development, and use of cognitive technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotic process automation transform professional knowledge-intensive work. He currently studies these socio-technical issues in the domain of financial accounting.

Program Fee and Registration

Program start