On the surface, preparing for the integration of AI into the world of work can sound like a formidable proposition. While we might have reservations concerning its integration, the more balanced question centers on how we might integrate AI to improve our own capabilities — and in turn the heath and capabilities of organizations.
Most of us would concede that as human beings we are prone to biases that lead to less informed decisions. In many situations, AI can address our shortcomings and improve our performance.
As Erik Brynjolffson of MIT points out in a recent HBR interview:
“…the benchmark for most entrepreneurs and managers is: who’s going to be better for solving this particular task or better yet can we create a system that combines the strengths of both humans and machines and does something better than either of them would do individually.”
Interestingly there has been much discussion about AI’s application to HR and work life. Here are just a few topics that I’ve noticed:
- Chatbots. In the HR world, chatbots can be utilized to address and improve many aspects of the employee experience. Chatbots have the potential to support numerous processes — through conversation — within on-boarding and coaching — helping HR departments to meet their goal of supporting contributors. (See how AI has also impacted “summer melt”, where students fail to matriculate in college settings here.)
- Job listings. A better informed candidate — one that has ample information to determine potential fit — is the first step to secure the right the role, for teh right person. The augmented writing platform Textio, for example, utilizes AI to improve the quality of information within job postings — potentially reducing bias and attracting a broader, more diverse pool of applicants.
- Interviewing. Google has developed the automated tool qDroid based upon the seminal meta-analytic selection research completed of Frank Schmidt and John Hunter. This work illustrated that a work sample was the best predictor of candidate success, followed by tests of cognitive ability and structured interviews. The tool generates behaviorally based questions, that are specifically tailored to the job in question.
We cannot overlook the fact that a mindset that embraces progress, will hasten the integration of AI into the world of work. Simply engaging with AI is the best start to determine if it might help your organization. In fact, organizations can (and should) begin utilizing AI at little or no cost. (See the access options to Watson here. Please note, as referenced in this discussion there are other AI alternatives for voice recognition, for example, driven by the specific need).
For organizations that may not have a skilled data analyst on hand — and may not require one on a full-time basis — these AI options can become vital. For those more skilled in data analysis, the notion that an insight might be left undiscovered, leaves me quite curious as to how the work can be improved. (In fact, training employees to utilize AI and ML has opened up recently.)
Not unlike Andrew McCaffe’s 2011 discussion of Enterprise 2.0, the deciding factor rests in the following questions:
“During times of great business change, two fundamental questions are: what kinds of companies are able to make the transition, and what happens when they do?”
Has your organization embraced AI? How has it impacted the work at hand?
Dr. Marla Gottschalk is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist. She is a charter member of the LinkedIn Influencer Program. Her thoughts on work life have appeared in various outlets including Talent Zoo, Forbes, Quartz and The Huffington Post.