Back to human? Or are the bots taking over?

There’s a major movement in what our conversations are about this year.  More and more, AI, machine learning, and robotics are part of the HR vernacular.  At the same time, more and more people are talking about bringing back the “human” into HR.  We’re almost becoming as polarized as our political system, but perhaps both answers contain some amount of truth and correctness.

John Sumser wrote something a few days ago stating, “Part of the challenge with conversations about ‘artificial intelligence and machine learning’ is that it’s not really intelligence or learning that we’re talking about.”  At the same time, I wrote in this month’s issue or Human Resources Executive asking if the demise of the data scientist is already on it’s way because AI and ML are increasingly in our technologies and work lives.  We’re even starting to think about removing the layer between managers and the data as we talk about digital assistants in the workplace like IBM’s Watson and Microsoft’s Cortana.

This year’s HR Technology Conference is packed with vendors on the expo floor touting their AI capabilities and sessions about AI and ML. (shameless plug, mine included).  John has a point though:

  • What is AI in HR and how do we even define intelligence? Are they just algorithms or do vendors in the expo hall actually have machines that are learning and adapting to our behaviors?
  • And at what point do humans re-enter the picture and what is the right role for us with these new tools? Will managers get cases of techno-stress and come back begging for human interaction?

This year looks to be one of the most interesting lineups of speakers and sessions in recent memory. At the same time, the vendors are in full swing this year too.

I’d love to see and hear what all of you think about AI/ML/robotic’s impact on HR and where you think we’re heading.  Back to human, or are the bots taking over?  Comment away!!!

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