AI but do not seek to perfectly

AI in HRM JackCopeland defines artificial intelligence as “the science of makingcomputers do things that require intelligence when done by humans.” The termwas coined by JohnMcCarthy in 1956 during the Dartmouth ArtificialIntelligence Conference. There are three camps of AI—strong AI, weak AI, and a middlecamp.

Proponents of strong AI aim to genuinely simulate human reasoning andbuild systems that not only mimic human thoughts but also explain how humansthink. This is a particularly difficult ask, and we are yet to see a real modelof strong AI. Those who believe in weak AI want to build systems thatbehave like humans but cannot tell us anything about how humans think. E.g.IBM’s DeepBlue. The system was an expert chess player, but it did not play chess theway humans do. The middle camp consists of people who want to build systemsthat are inspired or informed by human reasoning, but do not seek to perfectlymimic it.

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Most research work in AI is done in this area. E.g IBM Watson. This system has the abilityto pick up patterns in vast amounts of text that make up the evidence for theanswer it is seeking, and then add up the evidence to arrive at the answer.Google’s research in Deep Learning is inspired by thestructure of the brain. Learning from the behavior of neurons, Deep Learningsystems learn layers of representations for tasks such as image and speechrecognition. Is the hype aroundartificial intelligence justified?According to PhilFersht, CEO and Chief Analyst at HfS Research, “AI refers to the simulationof human thought processes across enterprise operations, where the system makesautonomous decisions, using high-level policies, constantly monitoring andoptimizing its performance and automatically adapting itself to changingconditions and evolving business rules and dynamics. It involves self-learningsystems that use data mining, pattern recognition, machine learning.

virtualagents, computer vision and natural language processing to mimic the way thehuman brain works, without continuous manual intervention.”HfS has released some data that reveals the projectedspending patterns of businesses on automation and AI between 2016 and 2021. Itis clear that AI is already emerging as a billion-dollar market for enterpriseoperations and spending on AI is expected to increase by as much as three timesin the next four years. Source: HfS Research Ltd.HfS also discovered, in its Stateof Automation 2017 report which surveyed 400 enterprise automation and AIdecision makers across the Global2000, that AI and machine learning are now one of the most criticalstrategic C-suite directives for operations strategy.

Eighty-one percent of therespondents feel that reliance on mid- or high-skilled labor should be reduced,and investment in AI technologies and machine learning will help achieve thisgoal. Although reducing operating costs is still top priority, it isincreasingly being understood that costs cannot be driven down any furtherwithout embracing digital technologies.  Source: Hfs Research Ltd.

 Not surprisingly, AI tools are already being piloted andevaluated extensively in anticipation of the digital transformation that isbeginning to change the way business is done.Source: HfS Research Ltd. Human ResourcesManagement and ChatbotsChatbots, or intelligent assistants, are computer algorithmsthat can mimic human conversation. They are being increasingly used in HR torecruit people, answer employee questions to HR, and personalize training anddevelopment. Chatbots digitize HR processes and enable employees to get HRsolutions, no matter where they are. IBM Institute for Business Value conducted a surveywith nearly 400 chief HR officers, wherein it was found that over half therespondents recognized the importance of cognitive computing in key HR areas,such as Talent Acquisition, HR Operations, and Talent Development.

It is clearthat HR leaders are beginning to harness chatbots to transform the employee experience.ServiceNow conducted a surveyin the HR Tech Conference and Expo 2017, covering 350 HR leaders. Ninety-twopercent of the HR leaders felt that chatbots will be required to provide anenhanced level of employee service. The survey also revealed that overtwo-thirds of the HR leaders felt that their employees were comfortable usingchatbots to access information when and where they want to. Chatbots are asked both personal as well as mundane questions:·        How many paid leaves do I have left?·        How do I report sexual harassment in office?Employee comfort level with respect to using AI to answeremployee questions is shown in the graph below:Image source:https://blogs-images.forbes.

com/jeannemeister/files/2017/11/Figure-1b-11-9-17.jpg Many technology firms are now considering HR solutions armedwith AI for activities such as:·        Sourcing (Textio)·        Interviewing (MontageTalent)·        On-boarding (Talla)·        Coaching (mobileCoach)·        Social recognition (growBot)·        Employee service centers (ServiceNow)Chatbots to Answer HRQueries in Real TimeLoka created Jane, thechatbot, in 2014 to answer HR questions. It provides answers to any questionthat can be stored in its database.

It also promotes policies and benefits toemployees who may not know about them yet. Jane can also track employee issues in real time and thenuse sentiment analysis to resolve the issue before it blows up. For instance,if a majority of employees are asking questions about delayed reimbursements,Jane will indicate that there is a problem.

HR leaders can work to correct it andcommunicate a solution before it becomes a huge issue. Jane may not be able to answer all HR questions yet, but itrepresents an opportunity to integrate AI into HR-related questions.  Thus, the presence of AI in HR makes the employee experiencemore user-driven, quick, and seamless. Chatbots to ImproveTalent AcquisitionIn the area of talent acquisition and on-boarding of newhires, chatbots can play an important role by drawing on multiple sources ofdata to create candidate profiles, schedule candidate interviews, and selectpotential hires.Since AI arrives at conclusions using data, a benefit ofusing the technology is that “ingrained bias” is removed. Ingrained bias is ahuman tendency that causes people to be biased toward others based on their characteristics.Talla is a chatbot createdto supplement HR processes that source candidates. It can pull up a set ofquestions for a particular role and can conduct a Net Promoter Score surveyafter the recruiting process is over.

Thus, it allows HR professionals todevote their time to tackling strategic issues. Eventually, Talla may grow tobe a real-time advisor to HR professionals in sourcing and on-boarding newhires. Reference checking is traditionally an admin-heavy, slow,and labor-intensive process. Using AI, it can be made faster and moreefficient. Xref, a tool used by recruiters for reference-checking, has agreater than 90 percent completion rate on references.

Xref research shows that,in the UK:·        36 percent of job seekers have exaggeratedclaims in their resume·        29 percent of job seekers have deliberately liedto an employer·        28 percent of job seekers have taken advantageof the flaws in the reference checking process to improve their chances ofgetting a job.Xref has a “Sentiment Engine,” which uses an algorithm tojudge the tone of voice in which feedback is written, and categorizes it asnegative, positive, or neutral. Currently, the AI-driven tool has an accuracyof 92 percent-98 percent—a statistic which humans cannot replicate. AI in the Area ofLearning and MentoringIntelligent assistants have become indispensable forprofessors who teach online courses on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) platforms.They augment the role of teaching assistants by doing tasks like answeringstudents’ questions faster, sending reminders for due dates, providingfeedback, and posting questions to encourage students to think more about theirsubject.   According to Ed Miller, CEO of NovoEd, “AI will make iteasier to scale learning experiences that are personalized and adaptive to thelearner.

” All aspects of HR will be impacted, including corporate learning,talent acquisition, and HR service centers. Barriers to EmbracingAI in HR ProcessesSenior HR leaders have identified the following roadblocksto adopting AI in HR processes:·        Fear of job loss·        Lack of AI training·        Lack of change management HR leaders will have to work on a strategy and a roadmap to embracingAI in their companies. A few suggestions to go about it are:·        Implement a range of chatbots to augment HRprocesses that will help HR professionals automatically generate documents,schedule meetings, and provide personalized health data. ·        Develop a shared vision of a compelling employeeexperience involving C-level executives from IT, HR, Digital Transformation,Corporate Communications, and Real Estate. ·        Jointly (IT, HR, Digital Transformation) definethe technology roadmap as a consequence of AI adoption.·        Identify and/or create new job roles to supportAI implementation in HR.

·        Upgrade the skills of HR professionals to enablethem to recognize the importance of AI in HR. At present, the journey of integrating AI in HR has onlyjust begun with chatbots and AI-driven algorithms transforming HR processes. AIhas the potential to empower HR professionals with predictive intelligence thatwill help them avoid potential dangers and exploit opportunities. References:1) 


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