Discover more from FullStack HR
AI and the Future of Work: Time to Reevaluate the Human Factor?
Are we humans? Or are we dancers?
Welcome to the 1334 (!!) new FullStack HR readers who joined last week. That is a new record for subscribers in one week - amazing!
If you aren't yet subscribed, join the other like-minded people in this free newsletter by subscribing below:
Hello to all the new people joining FullStack HR.
A proper introduction might be in order. I’m Johannes, and beyond writing this newsletter, I work as a Senior HR Manager at Avalanche Studios Group.
(But as always, this is my own opinion and thoughts, and not the thoughts of Avalanche. You should play our games, though…)
I do this in my spare time, and I do it because I like to think about the future of HR, and I’ve been doing so since 2010.
I try new stuff and write about it, so either you don’t have to, or I nudge you to try it.
I have one basic house rule - you don’t have to agree with what I say here.
I like to debate and discuss these topics, and I know that there are angles I’m always missing. All good?
I’m hosting a free webinar on ChatGPT + HR on Wednesday next week.
It’s 11 AM ET / 8 AM PT. (Or if you are in Europe - 5 PM CEST)
No need to drop your email or anything, as it is hosted on LinkedIn.
Well. I guess that was the intro and the small promo. Let’s get into today’s topic.
These are semi-unconstructed thoughts from my end. Please let me know in the comments what your thoughts are about this.
(I also like gifs.)
As individuals embedded in the tech world and the broader sphere of work-life, we often walk a tightrope. A precarious balance between the relentless march of progress on one side and the time-honored traditions of work-life on the other. This balance regarding AI and its integration into our professional lives is especially apparent.
Dive into any podcast, devour an article, or pick up a newsletter, and one constant refrain echoes across: AI is here to take care of the "mundane tasks" or the "work we'd rather not do." The implication is loud and clear – the human element in the workforce will always be integral and irreplaceable. It's a narrative that's compelling and soothing to our collective conscience.
Honestly, it's a narrative I've often found myself subscribing to.
But as someone immersed in this field, I can't help but wonder: Are we painting an incomplete picture, and are we overestimating what we bring to the table? (The HR table, that is.) Or, more bluntly put, will we come up short in this AI race?
What’s my think-process here?
Let's step back for a moment and consider the rapid advancements and convergence in various technologies. We are no longer in an era where technologies exist in isolation. Today, the boundaries between different tech solutions are becoming increasingly blurred. And it's in this blurred, seemingly chaotic overlap that the future of AI – and indeed, the future of work – might lie.
Communication platforms like Hangouts, Teams, or Zoom have become staples of our work life. In parallel, game engines today can generate incredibly lifelike environments. ChatGPT, with its ability to engage in meaningful conversation, is not far behind. Couple this with the continually improving text-to-speech and speech-to-text technologies, and we've got a tantalizing glimpse of what the future could hold.
Now, indulge me in a thought experiment. Imagine a bot emerging from this technological fusion. This bot isn't just a tool or a digital assistant; it's an entity you, as a manager, can call upon at any time. It's well-versed in your organization's inner workings. It knows the attendance status, can access health data (like your latest heart rate measurements), and has an impressive knowledge base spanning HR, personnel laws, and regulations.
It's never swamped with meetings, is always ready to lend an ear, and never sleeps. With such a resource at your disposal, would there still be a need for an HR Business Partner?
This might sound far-fetched, but consider this: How far away are we from ChatGPT or similar tools to beginning to understand the subtleties in our communication?
Is it inconceivable that it could meet us with an understanding, empathy, and sympathy mirroring a human counterpart?
Of course, these musings might border on the philosophical, perhaps even veer towards the territory of science fiction. But we must acknowledge that technology, and AI in particular, is evolving at a pace faster than we've ever experienced. It's worth pondering whether this is the trajectory we're on.
It's crucial, then, to consider the implications. Are we overestimating the "human factor"? Could we be overlooking a future where AI tools aren't just confined to the tasks we don't want to do but are actively participating in, and perhaps even spearheading, work we've always believed to be the exclusive domain of humans?
Could it be time to rethink our approach to AI within the confines of HR and across all areas of work?
As we navigate this terrain, we must remain open to the possibility that the future of work might look vastly different from what we envision today.
That the line between human-led and AI-led work might become increasingly blurred.
And perhaps, that's not something to fear but an exciting new paradigm to embrace.