With the onset of new technologies, fear and uncertainty can be provoked in some people who, by nature, worry about change. AI is the latest agent of advanced technology that is hitting mainstream consciousness, and it has left many of us wondering what will happen in different areas of our lives. For many, that fear is rooted in concerns about their job security and whether they will be replaced by technology.

    Full disclosure - when I was asked to write a blog about AI and People and Culture, I wanted to dig in my heels and petition for a different theme.  Perhaps I’m one of those who are a little uncomfortable about what AI means for us as humans, let alone employment and People and Culture.  With a little reflection (and cajoling), I got down to it, and I thought how ironic it would be if I leveraged ChatGPT to give me some ideas for topics to write about.

    “Ways AI is impacting HR” was my first search and it generated a list of 12 processes and factors in which AI can assist with automation and efficiency.  I wasn’t seeing much “intelligence” in that search result and the ideas produced were less than inspiring.

    Then, I searched “Creative ways HR is impacted by AI” and that’s where things got interesting.  It generated many thought-provoking concepts some of which included:

      • emotion recognition to assess an employee’s psychological state in interviews or training scenarios;
      • predictive analytics for team composition and diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging initiatives; and,
      • the analysis of communication patterns to provide strategies for conflict resolution.

    I could see that there is a lot of “intelligence” embedded into these themes.

    What struck me with all these concepts is that there still needs to be human intervention with varying types of skill and levels of capability for each process and idea. In this example, AI doesn’t replace my job by actually executing these things for my organization. It provides me with research, data, and information that I could use in performing my role.

    This is a simplistic example. What will likely change from a people perspective is how we will need to leverage AI in performing our jobs. Our roles will begin to look different, and our capabilities will likely need to evolve, but doors will be opened in areas we didn’t even know we could bring value.

    We can recall how similar fear abounded when computers were being introduced into the workplace. Articles were written about how they would replace our jobs and completely change how work was done. The latter turned out to be true. We had to learn how to leverage computers and new capabilities to do our jobs better. The fear was unfounded, we just had to learn how to adapt and understand the opportunity that was being provided to us.

    The introduction of AI also means opportunity from a people perspective to be more innovative and strategic.  I think that’s a compelling enough reason to be a little less fearful.


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