HRIntelligencer v1.29

Topics: HRExaminer, John Sumser, by John Sumser

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Big Picture
  • Ambient AI Is About to Devour the Software Industry. What software is, how software is developed and how we think about software is changing. One way of thinking about AI is that it is the centerpiece of cloud computing. As Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Oracle and others compete for the cloud processing and storage business, they must help their customers use more. AI does that. 
  • Artificial Intelligence Seeks an Ethical Conscience. Light notes from the Neural Information Processing Systems conference this past week. “A lot of decisions about the future of this field cannot be made in the disciplines in which it began.” Se also, Kate Crawford’s keynote. Distills the ethical issues into simple terms.
HR’s View

Quote of the Week

“AI systems are not all equal,” says Loren Larsen, chief technology officer for HireVue, which has developed an automated video interview analysis system. It has been used by companies including Unilever, the consumer goods group, Vodafone, the telecoms company, and Urban Outfitters, the retailer. “I think you have to look [at] the science team behind the work,” says Mr. Larsen.

The problem, experts say, is that to find the best candidates an algorithm has first to be told what “good” looks like in any given organization. Even if it is not fed criteria that seem discriminatory, an efficient machine-learning system will quickly be able to replicate the characteristics of existing workers. If an organization has favored white male graduates from prestigious universities, the algorithm will learn to select more of the same.


Curate means a variety of things: from the work of vicar entrusted with the care of souls to that of an exhibit designer responsible for clarity and meaning. At the core, it means something about the importance of empathy in organization. HRIntelligencer is an update on the comings and goings in the Human Resource experiment with Artificial Intelligence, Digital Employees, Algorithms, Machine Learning, Big Data and all of that stuff. We present a few critical links with some explanation. The goal is to give you a way to surf the rapidly evolving field without drowning in information. We offer a timeless curation of the intersection of HR and the machines that serve it. We curate the emergence of Machine Led Decision Making in HR.

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