The robots coming for our Jobs will also help us fire Us.
Artificial Intelligence has influenced decision-making regarding hiring, evaluations and training. It’s now creeping into the layoff process too.
If you enjoy a sense of pity trying to find evidence that we are moving closer to an era of dystopian technology in which humans are controlled by their robot masters, take a look at this nightmare scenario that is possible Artificial Intelligence is not just there to help you with your job, but it could also play a role in eliminating you, too.
AI has already entered into many aspects of the human resource process including onboarding, hiring and training to reviewing. It’s not too far-fetched to imagine that in a sector obsessed with efficiency such as technology, the tools that are designed to improve decision-making processes are being used to cut jobs.
The circumstances are perfect for this: tech’s 42,000 job losses last month was the second-highest in the history of the industry according to the data of outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.
One of the reasons we’re aware that there is a trend towards automating certain aspects of “workforce cutting” is that HR managers admit to it. A report released in the last month by Capterra, a subsidiary of the tech industry research firm Gartner Inc., found that 98% of HR managers it surveyed stated that they would at the very least some degree rely on software and algorithms to cut down on cost of labor during the event of a recession in 2023.
For workers who work on an hourly basis, the management through algorithms is nothing new. In 2021, for instance, Starbulletin News reported that Amazon.com Inc. was tracking every step of the company’s Flex delivery drivers, and some were terminated by automated emails when algorithms at the company decided they were not performing on their jobs.
The volume of data Amazon gathers about the independent contractors allows algorithms to assess performance. However, the sheer volume of information also makes it simpler for those who advocate AI to claim that AI tools are essential as it’s a lot of inputs for humans to understand.
Office workers had until recently been largely unaffected by such examinations, largely because the information needed to monitor them the same way was not available. However, this is changing due to the rising popularity of the productivity score, as well as the increasing desire and capability to be able to watch closely not just the number of employees sitting on their keyboards, but also their every single keystroke and mouse click.
To be certain, I’m not saying that HR managers can simply hit the button and be a pile of pink slips (and in addition, many ethical and legal issues) Although it’s almost sure that someone will do. It’s more likely that AI can help narrow the field and gives an initial opportunity before humans are involved, similar to what’s happening in the current hiring process.
This could be the ultimate goal for HR managers. A opportunity to eliminate the stress of layoffs as well as shift the blame and negative feelings away from human beings to machines. However, we know that’s not the way AI does its work. The dictum is: bad data in bad data goes out. There’s ample evidence that shows the data that firms already rely on to make employee reviews isn’t ideal.
The Robots Coming for Our Jobs Will Also Help Fire Us https://t.co/YnQvGBqfqG
— Post Business (@washpostbiz) February 7, 2023
Capterra Analyst Brian Westfall told me that even though 75% of HR professionals believe they will use performance measures in deciding whether to lay off employees A higher proportion of them say that they are thinking of making changes to their performance evaluations due to the fact that they believe the system is flawed.
The HR executives who participated in the Capterra study who claimed they would be relying on algorithms and software to cut the cost of labor in a 2023 recession were skeptical of the technology. Half of them said they were 100% confident that the tools can provide unbiased advice and 47% said they were having complete confidence in taking the decision to lay off employees in the light of these recommendations.
Instead of removing biases from a series of uncomfortable and messy cuts, AI is able record it. A number of experts have pointed me to another Amazon instance, where the tech giant attempted to develop an automated tool to identify a specific group of job candidates. The engineers who developed the system trained it to analyze previous data of people who previously submitted resumes.
Since the tech industry is predominantly male and the majority of past applicants were males applying for tech jobs were snubbed due to the algorithms. (Reuters stated that Amazon has withdrawn the program and the company claimed that it did not use the program to judge applicants.)
It’s another instance of the ways in which AI could distract us from the fact the human resource issue is all about human beings. We’re slowly moving toward an automated apathy and there are reports of tech workers being informed by email that they’d been fired, rather than by a real person.
Nowadays, we are all aware that losing a job is one of the most painful situations. It’s hard to be in line with handing this devastating decision over to algorithms , particularly when we are able to admit that we’re not sure we can believe in them.