Artificial Intelligence (AI), meets relatable robot meets human job: The robot will see you now (counsellor) If you missed the stunning documentary from Channel 4 last week, then it is a piece of must-see television if you are involved in HR and business.
Jess is an AI robot designed to have human-like discussions and interactions. Her body movements and eye movements appear to mimic a sentient being. In the programme, it appeared that people built a relationship and learnt to trust her very quickly.
Think your job is safe because you have a white collar job – think again
It’s not all about driverless cars.
If you go to sites such as Will humans take my job , or the BBC site – we can see that jobs like being a Driver have a 98% chance of being replaced by automation by 2024. If you work in stock picking or warehousing, there is a 64% chance of jobs being replaced. For a long time, we have known about manufacturing automation. Intelligent automation in warehousing is more recent. Software-based AI has been increasing rapid. Technology that is safe to share the same public spaces as us has been slow to develop, but it is here now.
But for HR, the chance of automation is said to be at 0.5% by 2024. Seeing this documentary “the robot will see you now”, could well change this. These sites state that if you are a Counsellor the Likelihood of automation is quite unlikely (4%). AI is developing fast. Much faster than many thought possible. With cheap memory and fast computers, this acceleration in development will only increase.
Counsellor the Likelihood of automation is quite unlikely
In the documentary, a net connected robot with AI was presented with couples in a therapy like session. The robot built rapport and engaged with the couple. From what was shown on the show, progress was made in most cases. If HR is about relationships and solving people problems, I do not think it is much of a shift to see robots like Jess doing a lot of what HR can do. Add that to self-service HR systems, and other AI intelligence in the systems and procedures we use, and it is not a big leap.
The documentary does not attribute to who made the robot and wrote the code. It also alludes to some “human assistance”. How much we will never know. What was on screen was apparently realistic. How far such systems have actually developed is questionable. But it does beg the question. If it is not here now, how long will it be?
With tools like Siri, Google and Echo starting to be a part of our life, it is unreasonable to expect these interfaces to get smarter and smarter?
IBM have been working in this area for a long time. Watson has developed and can now do things such as:
Check scans for cancer
IBM’s Watson Care Manager can control scheduling, develop personalised care plans, manage budgets, select providers and enable care
And be the brains behind many driverless cars
Robots in HR – is your job safe from AI?
So what are the options for robots in HR in 2017?
If you run a “help desk”, then currently AI can operate chatbots to signpost managers to solutions.
Any process that follows consistent “rules” such as payroll runs can currently be automated
Manage compliance and auto alert managers
Induction – Assess, prepare and create new joiner data
Candidate reviews – screening of CV’s and online application forms
Selection – AI can remove unconscious bias
Impact on society – is your job safe from AI?
Certainly, for many, large scale adoption will be by bigger employers or smaller ones where Software as a Service (SaaS) is available in a cost-effective way.
With an increasing range of possibilities for robots of various forms to “take our jobs”, from a social point of view it is important to start looking at automation in a different way. Do not get me wrong, I think that automation is a good thing for mankind. But with the development of AI – Artificial intelligence, robots can start to work in our environments. In the past, most industrial robots have been kept behind cages and in “robot only” space. Now they can react to the environment in which we operate. They can make “decisions” to avoid impacting us.
As Bill Gates has said, if we are giving jobs to robots, its time for companies that use them to pay tax on them. – this will ensure that jobs that are automated also help society.
What do you think?
How long will it be before a robot replaces much of what you do on a day to day basis?