Human Resources and Artificial Intelligence. Myths and why they persist.
Dispel the most insidious myths surrounding HR and AI to make HR processes more engaging, more human and more intelligent.
AI, Machine Learning and RPA have the potential to provide HR organizations with powerful tools to enhance the employee experience; and yet, myths and detractions abound that prevent organizations from taking full advantage of the power of these innovative technologies. At Andgo Systems we have embraced automation to empower organizations to make people driven decisions and improve the outcome with short call-outs. Let’s dispel some of those myths.
1. HR can be replaced by AI and RPA
Why the myth: Long has been the narrative that Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and a dozen other intelligent systems will take over, destroy and end the world as we know it today. Myth motivators that explore the end of the world scenario include pop culture movies such as (Terminator-Arnold Schwarzenegger 1984) or the dystopian (Black Mirror-Charlie Brooker 2017). These pop culture events compel us to think of AI as “a nefarious technology shrouded in darkness”.
Here is the truth: AI shown in pop culture does not exist and is completely theoretical. Studies have shown that the introduction of AI into a system such as HR, actually improves HR outcomes. According to the International Research Journal of Engineering and Technology (August 2019), AI helps analyse, predict and diagnose HR processes and allows HR teams to make better decisions for their organizations. The study emphasises that AI enhances lives and improves the employee experience.
Andgo uses RPA to help make complex processes highly efficient and accurate. Customers have gained tremendous benefits from this automation. No nefarious technology here.
2) AI in HR is designed to foment job reductions.
Why the myth: In every discipline and industry AI and Robotic technology is seen as a job buster. We have heard of the stories of how AI processes have replaced real people by removing their tasks. Remember the switchboard rooms. Millions of workers made these rooms work. These rooms were replaced by automated switchboard machines which evolved to the PBX (Private Branch Exchange) machines. Automation was vastly more efficient. Is this an argument that shows job losses for switchboard operators? Yes, the operators did lose their switchboard jobs. As technology evolved, so did the job market. Can you picture using switchboards today?
Here is the truth: Automation and AI are here to stay. Experts indicate that AI is today's economic growth engine as the piston engine was to the Industrial Revolution. Andgo has seen overwhelming benefits with our Absence Management Software in complex business environments where complex processes exist. In organizations where automation occurs, the jobs are not lost but are switched from “Blue Collar” to better paying “New Collar” jobs. In the absence management space specifically, RPA’s in the form of Software as a Service are removing the mundane tasks of manual call outs to deliver a far more efficient and accurate automated process. These RPA’s save large amounts of money and time allowing organizations to repurpose their employee resources to new tasks that require a higher human touch factor.
3) AI is heartless and will destroy morale
Why the myth: The substitution of automated processes as a means of interaction with employees is degrading. “Do you mean that I have to talk to a machine and not a human being about my professional issues?”. Without a personal engagement with HR some feel undervalued.
Here is the truth: Various studies have now shown that when AI and RPA are used to deal with the non-interpersonal processes like payroll, tax form reminders, then the HR person has more time to deal one on one with employees. Administrative duties limited one on one personal interactions. HR professionals who augment their function with AI and RPA can now leverage their expertise in the management of people and not processes. It is this hybrid model that optimizes the HR function. They can build relationships and improve the people process, team optimization, training and other key engagement activities. (Adapted from: Singapore Management University, S. Miller, AI Augmentation 2018)
4) AI will end the HR function
Why the myth: AI will replace the HR function because it is smarter and faster at recognizing performance issues. AI is numbers based and the numbers do not lie. The currency of HR is the human relationship. AI and RPA’s can augment this relationship. If HR ends then so does the most important currency in business which is relationships.
Here is the truth: According to most contemporary studies AI, RPA and other intelligent automations contribute a significant amount to the HR role today. The hybrid model is highly useful in transforming HR and the workforce. AI reduces human bias. It increases efficiency in candidate assessment and also improves relationships with employees. In the past, health care institutions used manual processes to fill the constant stream of vacant shifts. Like the switchboard analogy, Hospitals now rely on RPA shift filling technology to manage the constantly changing nursing shifts. RPA uses the taxonomy of union and hospital guidelines with all the incumbent complexities of a hospital eco-system. All these factors are built into the automation tools. (Source: Andgo Systems Feature Guide 2020). RPA’s optimize the workforce while keeping the human to human relationship front and center.
At Angdo, we specialise in Smart Absence Management. We help organizations solve complex scheduling practices by turning them into automated and customized workflows. The Andgo Smart Absence Management platform is a complete end-to-end absence management solution that automates the communication processes of receiving and filling employee’s planned and unplanned leave requests, effectively closing the loop on absence management for organizations.
It’s time to embrace AI and RPA, and all it has to offer. See how Andgo’s automated solutions can help your organization step into the future and support your employees. Visit Andgo’s Marketplace page for more information.
The content form this blog is courtesy of Tom Ross, CEO at Andgo Systems.