Reflections on Unleash America: Looking Beyond the Surface of AI in HR
A long overdue update.
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It’s been a while.
There are several reasons for this. I’ve started a new job. I’ve been to Vegas. And I am slightly anxious about posting because the growth here has been….insane. There are so many of you now, and we’ll soon reach 3000 subscribers!
For those of you new to FullStack HR - welcome! My aim with FullStack HR is to be at the very forefront of every trend in HR. To educate and provide consumer information to us working in HR. What can we ignore, and what should we double down on?
I’m trying to post every week, but then life happens.
If you like to listen to stuff, there’s usually a podcast version of the article (if I have time to record one).
Before we dive into today’s topic - time for shameless self-promotion again.
I’m hosting a free webinar about ChatGPT and HR.
It will be in Swedish this time, but I aim to do one in English in a month or so.
But now, let’s get to it.
Two weeks ago, I immersed myself in the whirlwind of ideas and insights at Unleash America. Picture the scene: the hum of conversation, the air crackling with energy, and one buzzword resonating in every corner: Artificial Intelligence.
There was a palpable sense of being at the cusp of something revolutionary. But amidst the clamor, I yearned for a deeper, more substantial dialogue about AI, specifically in the realm of HR.
Let's be clear; this isn't a critique of Unleash America. This thirst for depth in the discourse around AI and HR is a feeling I often encounter in our field. I read at least ten articles daily that are shallow (at best) in their take on AI and HR.
It's like staring at a vast, blue ocean, knowing that beneath the surface lies a world of untapped potential, yet we're just skimming the surface. I understand why, of course. We're in the early stages of navigating the AI landscape. But that doesn't mean we should shy away from diving deep.
Most talks were good at Unleash, but as always, I had my highlights. (And yes, I was very biased toward listening to talks about AI) See them as beacons guiding us toward a more nuanced understanding of AI. One such beacon was Maurice Conti from Applied Intelligence. His take on how individuals, organizations, and society can leverage new tools to thrive in our complex and uncertain times was like a breath of fresh air.
Conti rightly underscored that even the most advanced technology is just a toolset. Organizations need the right mindsets and skillsets to seize these tools' extraordinary opportunities. His forward-looking perspective, delivered with humor and precision, was the highlight of the conference for me.
Then there was Kerry Olin from Microsoft. His talk wasn't focused on AI, per se, but it struck a chord nonetheless. He emphasized the importance of doing better for our employees, presenting an empathetic, business-centric, and pragmatic approach. It was like a gentle reminder that, in our quest for technological advancement, we mustn't lose sight of the human element at the heart of HR.
I’ve always been impressed by the team at Unleash, and they sure didn’t disappoint this time, either. The US version is as good as the European version.
So, while Unleash America was a whirlwind of ideas and insights, it also highlighted the need for a more substantial dialogue around AI in HR—as said, a trend I see mirrored in the broader HR community. But as we continue our journey, I'm hopeful that we'll dive deeper, beyond the surface-level chatter, and truly explore the potential of AI in HR.
After all, we're not just spectators in this AI revolution. (Even though it might sometimes feel like that.) We're participants, navigators charting the course of this technological voyage. And the time has come for us to take the plunge, explore the deep end of the AI ocean, and harness its potential in our quest to create better workplaces.
I will try doubling down on this here at FullStack HR over the coming months. And I hope to inspire you further to go out in your organizations and work with AI strategically and practically.
Next week’s post will be _very_ practical.