HRIntelligencer logo 544px


This Week

Highlights: Google Principles on AI, India’s National Strategy for AI, How to Be A Centaur, Amazon employees demand that company cut ties with ICE, and more.


Big Picture


  • AI at Google: Our Principles. This is an interesting start. It leaves a bunch of ethical questions (liability, provacy, interface) on the cutting room floor. Read it to see what the beginning of an idea looks like.
  • India’s National Strategy for AI. “The plan is everything. The plan is nothing.” – Dwight Eisenhower


HR’s View







Quote of the Week


“I think one could propose a whole list of unhelpful ways of talking about current developments in machine learning. For example:
     – Data is the new oil
     – Google and China (or Facebook, or Amazon, or BAT) have all the data
     – AI will take all the jobs
     – And, of course, saying AI itself.

More useful things to talk about, perhaps, might be:
     – Automation
     – Enabling technology layers
     – Relational databases.

Why relational databases? They were a new fundamental enabling layer that changed what computing could do. Before relational databases appeared in the late 1970s, if you wanted your database to show you, say, ‘all customers who bought this product and live in this city’, that would generally need a custom engineering project. Databases were not built with structure such that any arbitrary cross-referenced query was an easy, routine thing to do. If you wanted to ask a question, someone would have to build it. Databases were record-keeping systems; relational databases turned them into business intelligence systems.

This changed what databases could be used for in important ways, and so created new use cases and new billion dollar companies. Relational databases gave us Oracle, but they also gave us SAP, and SAP and its peers gave us global just-in-time supply chains – they gave us Apple and Starbucks. By the 1990s, pretty much all enterprise software was a relational database – PeopleSoft and CRM and SuccessFactors and dozens more all ran on relational databases. No-one looked at SuccessFactors or Salesforce and said “that will never work because Oracle has all the database” – rather, this technology became an enabling layer that was part of everything.


Companies We Talked To Last Week




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.


Read previous post:
New Benefits Thinking | Part 1 of 2

We kick off a two-part series this week on New Benefits Thinking. John Sumser looks at the emerging model for...