The growing use of AI in the workplace raises many questions. Among them: Is it too intrusive?
Move over, managers, there’s a new boss in the office: artificial intelligence.
The same technology that enables a navigation app to find the most efficient route to your destination or lets an online store recommend products based on past purchases is on the verge of transforming the office—promising to remake how we look for job candidates, get the most out of workers and keep our best workers on the job.
These applications aim to analyze a vast amount of data and search for patterns—broadening managers’ options and helping them systematize processes that are often driven simply by instinct. And just like shopping sites, the AIs are designed to learn from experience to get an ever-better idea of what managers want.
Consider just a few of the AI-driven options already available:
A company can provide a job description, and AI will collect and crunch data from a variety of sources to find people with the right talents, with experience to match—candidates who might never have thought of applying to the company, and whom the company might never have thought of seeking out.
Another AI service lets companies analyze workers’ email to tell if they’re feeling unhappy about their job, so bosses can give them more attention before their performance takes a nose dive or they start doing things that harm the company.
Meanwhile, if companies are worried about turnover, they can use AI to find employees who may be likely to jump ship based on variables such as the length of time they’ve been in the job, their physical distance from teammates or how many managers they’ve had.
Still, the same data-analysis technology that promises to make managers more effective also sweeps them into uncharted territory. With its relentless focus on facts, AI seems to overcome supervisors’ prejudices, but it can have its own biases, such as favoring job candidates who have characteristics similar to those the software has seen before. Automated decision-making may also tempt managers to abdicate their own judgment or justify bad decisions that would have benefited from a human touch.
Read the original article: wsj.com