Society is evolving. We now have the capabilities to create and implement technology in our lives that not only improve our overall efficiency, but also improve how well we interact with each other. Companies like Cogito and IBM are doing just that by optimizing their artificial intelligence (A.I.) programs for the professional world. Being able to use an A.I. server to not only help workers improve their day to day tasks but to also analyze their performance may sound like a god-send tool for any manager, however many are skeptical about whether having software directly manage people is a good thing. Information initially provided by the New York Times.
When people hear the phrase “robot manager,” they tend to think of the dystopian society portrayed in the Terminator movies, but this is far from reality (go figure). Instead, the utilization of these A.I. programs are used to track performance, send notifications to workers when they need to improve or when they are doing a good job, as well as send recommendations and projections for expected future performance to the actual managers.
This is where the main issues lie. For several years workers have been concerned about the loss of production jobs due to the advancement of technology (for example, the automated cashiers at McDonald’s locations) that it never dawned that with a proper A.I. program, management can be replaced as well.
Employees at the MetLife call center, however, have completely embraced the A.I. software they now have installed company-wide, courtesy of Boston-based tech company Cogito. The program allows workers to see live updates on how expressive they are talking, if they are speaking too fast/too slow, and also give them evaluations on how well they performed for the day (which is also sent to the manager for review). Instead of feeling micromanaged, MetLife employees have described the new A.I. tool as amazingly convenient as it has helped boost office productivity, and at worst it has been described as a “minor inconvenience.”
Managers also like using the software as well, since it simplifies the process of obtaining employee data so that they can focus more on how to restructure and improve performance even more. And to those who say implementing an A.I. system creates a foundation for a future dystopian society, the response is simple: everything an A.I. does from what data it records to the recommendations it gives is all controlled by a technician or can be controlled in-house by a manager. Ultimately, A.I. is a tool, not a replacement.
A.I. has also shown to be very beneficial in the job search process for companies. Pymetrics is a New York-based startup that assists companies in filling positions, and selects candidates based off of complex algorithms designed to eliminate human-biased decisions. By eliminating these biases, companies are given a list of the most promising candidates in the job pool and can then interview from there. If the technology progresses, however, it could streamline the job search process exponentially and possibly eliminate a few jobs in the process.
Do you think that using A.I. for managerial purposes is beneficial or will it cause more animosity between employer and employee? Let us know!