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How Artificial Intelligence can assist HR?

19 Jun 2017

Artificial Intelligence has been around for a long time but it is only recently that it has gotten a seat at the adult table due its potential to develop tools that can think and adapt like the human brain. Not only is it slowly becoming more sentient but it is also exponentially faster in processing and making decisions based on the given parameters. Virtually every industry benefits from Artificial Intelligence but AI is uniquely qualified for use in an HR capacity due to it’s appetite for repetitive analytic functions. It provides even-tempered analysis, unbiased results and the ability to collate copious of data from disparate sources.

A future with AI is inevitable. However it has been a topic of much debate as to whether it will be a utopian or dystopian one. According to CB insights database, over 550 startups using AI as a core part of their products raised $5B in funding in 2016. HR is critical for the implementation of Artificial Intelligence in any organization because in order to adapt to the changing landscape of business the management skills of HR are of utmost importance. According to IDC, widespread adoption of cognitive systems and AI across a broad range of industries will drive worldwide revenues from nearly $ 8 Billion in 2016 to more than $ 47 billion in 2020. Although AI can automate data collection, make preliminary observations, classify HR issues, segregate customer and employee profiles but final decisions and corrective actions need to be approved by qualified HR Professionals.

What is AI?

We are currently living in a world of self-driving cars, personal assistants like Siri, Cortana, Watson, Alexa, chat-bots and much more. AI technology has connected humans and machines in an inextricable manner. These machines possess the ability to do repetitive calculations, automatic processes and enforce guidelines. It is relatively simpler to create an AI to perform a complex task but teaching it the nuances of simple things is where the real issues occur.

According to an Oxford study, “The future of Employment estimates that 47% of jobs are at risk of being automated in the next 20 “. Intelligence can be defined as the ability to make decisions. So it stands to reason that AI will be smarter than humans due to their ability to forecast events and being unbiased.

Types Of AI

AI in layman’s term can be broadly classified into voice recognition, chat-bots and algorithms. These features can be moulded for processes like predicting patterns, manage data, providing analysis and automating repetitive processes.

Voice Recognition

This AI has been a part of our lives for a while now. It can convert voice into text in order to find what you are looking for. Personal assistants like Siri, Cortana and even OK Google work on this technology. Their primary function is to perform simple functions use in command for ease of access.

Chat- Bots

Nowadays a massive amount of websites are making use of chat-bot technology in order to interact with people and help them in predefined avenues. Even navigation systems make use of bots in order to learn more and improve upon their own designs.

AI Algorithms

AI is developed using algorithms. So algorithms can be developed for gathering data, filtering and analyzing using set parameters and offering solutions based on the analysis. They can also be used to monitor benchmarks and assess employment criteria in an HR setting.

Benefits of AI for HR

HR as virtue of its function collects a huge amount of data in analyzing, which takes a lot of time. AI can help streamline this process drastically and also, cuts down on errors. This completes the task in minutes, whereas before it used to take weeks to get completed. In today’s economy, speed is crucial for any business for the following reasons:

  • Opportunity to create more business solutions
  • Getting accurate analysis swiftly
  • Spotting trends using pattern recognition
  • Speeding up processes

AI driven HRMS

Effectively collating data from multiple data points in the span of minutes has the potential to improve employee satisfaction and efficiency. HR departments can customize AI to their ideal requirements and shorten the time usually taken in hiring employees. AI can collate data for example salary history, performance ranking etc. and provide it for decision making. AI can be used to train employees and understand their strengths and weaknesses. The following are the ways HR can benefit from AI integration

  • Predicting patterns and providing solutions based on them
  • Identifying which employees to retain to increase efficiency
  • Managing workflow to optimize processes using automation
  • Identifying training needed for maximizing employee potential
  • Reducing errors and biased decisions
  • AI has the ability to learn and improve from its own errors

Risks of AI in HR

Historically, whenever a new technology has been developed it has resulted in the loss of jobs which are no longer required. AI depends on doing repetitive tasks flawlessly. For instance, Google search has come a long way from being a reductive search engine with inaccurate results to understanding semantics and keywords in order to provide accurate results. As a result now no one can function the sluggish inaccurate version that existed before. As technology advances a lot of jobs run the risk of being rendered irrelevant. But it can also be noted that whenever jobs are lost new jobs come up in their place. If manual functions are replaced by machines then jobs for training the AI and maintaining it will rise.

There are experts who believe that AI will develop to the stage where it becomes sentient and dictates what humans are doing or it will lead to a world of unemployment. But that is an unlikely scenario at the time being. Since AI does only what it is directed to, the chances of it being completely sentient are low.

In HR, AI will work to reduce the work load but at the same time employees will be needed to make the decisions and understand individual scenarios. Also since these systems contain caches of sensitive data, vigilance has to be maintained that the system function properly. The constant need for creativity, empathy, understanding and teamwork guarantees the necessity of humans in the HR workplace.

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