What’s all this Chat about AI?Posted in : HR Updates on 9 October 2023
Artificial intelligence, or AI is it is best known is everywhere at the minute, yet up until I wrote this article, I have to admit I knew very little about it and held misconceptions such as the risk of AI making jobs obsolete and how it was probably just a passing phase. I even wondered at some points whether robots would take over the world and enslave human beings.
AI, quite simply, relates to the intelligence of machines or software as opposed to the intelligence of humans. AI can often perform tasks better than humans such as analysing large amounts of data and populating relevant fields with very little error, yet in reality, AI does not possess human-like thinking or emotional intelligence. It is based on algorithms and statistical analysis rather than genuine reasoning and understanding which are fundamental characteristics of human behaviour.
The power of AI is exciting as we consider its ability to automate certain tasks and transform industries, much in the same way that Henry Ford’s manufacturing production line transformed the automobile industry in the early 1900s.
Instead of replacing humans however, AI is more likely to focus on lower-level tasks allowing people to spend time on activities involving social interaction and analytical thinking. The view that AI is unethical or biased does not hold much weight given that AI is only ever as powerful as those that develop and deploy it.
The potential benefits that AI can bring to the field of HR are huge, such as significantly broadening the reach of potential candidates to a global scale. It also has the potential to rectify human errors in the hiring process that otherwise may have been overlooked. Again, AI offers the opportunity to enhance more manual tasks, freeing up HR’s time to dedicate to building effective relationships or improving ways to better engage workforces.
But how close are we to fully embracing AI given current levels of scepticism and misconceptions that prevail? I guess there is no definitive answer to this currently. However, it is worth remembering that when the telephone was first introduced, many older people refused to even touch one for fear of electric shock. And even mobile phones were associated with ‘yuppies’ before they became mainstream, but if you pause for a moment and imagine a world without either landlines or mobiles, it is pretty impossible.
I wonder if in the next 10 years from now, will we read back on this article and think how ludicrous it was to imagine a world without AI. I suspect, only time will tell! So let’s embrace it, or risk getting left behind.
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