Authors like Isaac Asimov have for long imagined a future where machines that can govern themselves to help mankind. It was perhaps this imagination by the artists that led science on the path of inventing artificial intelligence in the first place. However, as things have advanced, science and AI have proven themselves to be much more than merely helpful for mankind so far. Machines have a long way to go before they reach the point envisioned by Asimov as they are still dependent on people to make moral judgement. Among the latest patrons of AI are the HR departments that have realized the wisdom and impact of assisted decision making about the most valuable resource of an organization - the people.
What can AI do for HR
HR is one a discipline with extremely complex needs of data analytics and management. AI can assist in gathering large quantities of data and make predictive analysis in a matter of seconds, a task that would probably take months to do manually. This speed is crucial for global businesses as they compete in a highly fluid environment.
- Enable accurate, quicker, and timely decision making to ensure safeguard business opportunities
- Recognizing patterns and spotting industry trends
- Improving speed and efficiency of processes
- Implementing learnings from successes and failures
HR driven by Artificial Intelligence
Data collection and analysis is crucial to the HR discipline, and AI can help in that by collecting data from multiple touch points simultaneously while segregating it for analysis and allowing HR professionals to use that data to its maximum potential. It can enable virtual assistants to become independent to a larger extent through relevant data collection and dissemination. As a result, it can organize statistics as required by different stakeholders within the organization and allow utilization of employee skills at maximum efficiency levels, especially in functions where cross-training abilities are required.
The risks of Artificial Intelligence
The use of AI is still in its nascent stage where it performs in a relatively narrow spectrum of tasks. But the fact that it is fast and flawless in performing those tasks, quite a few jobs that are repetitive in nature can be rendered obsolete with the implementation of AI. As technology advances and people adapt to it, it is highly unlikely that anyone would want to go back to doing things in a less efficient way. But then there is a small chance that advanced AI can leave human intelligence behind as it learns to do a complex array of tasks over time.
Another risk is that AI may not be able to learn the nuances of languages and speech. This has already been demonstrated when Microsoft’s experimental AI bot ‘Tay’ received flak globally for racist remarks. It demonstrated that less advanced AI can pose a risk to security due to its inability to fully distinguish between right and wrong.
The argument by critics that AI may take over from humans completely if allowed to learn without restrictions may seem farfetched to some. However, AI is still far from being truly sentient and gaining rights that are equivalent to human rights. As a result, there are no moral or legal issues that can act as inhibitors in experimentation with AI at present. But the fact is that we do need to adapt ourselves to AI and the reason is simple - evolution. Technology is evolving and we need to stay abreast with it or risk losing our relevance to machines just as some artists had envisioned.