White Paper Showers

On January 30, 2017, in HRExaminer, John Sumser, by John Sumser

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It’s raining white papers and reports. The net result of our industry’s embrace of content marketing is more material than any single person could consume. Here are some of the pieces that survived our aggressive inbox scrubbing.

  • From Google: How Analytics and Machine Learning Help Organizations Reap Competitive Advantage
    There are three critical components of an analytics strategy:
    – Accumulation of Data: Where do you get it and how do you deal with the ‘variety’ problem? i.e., 
    – Analysis: The difference between re-forecasting history and the data you have is where the insight lives
    – Action: The hard part. Using insight to make a difference
    The article specifically overlooks the problem that a good system is only 80% accurate when installed. That raises profound liability issues for HR.


  • From Cognizant: The Work Ahead: 40 Months of Hyper-Digital Transformation
    – Read this one if you want to be persuaded that the conventional view of the future of work is a matter of survival for your organization.
    From the Center for the Future of Work, a scary, breathy 20 page forecast of imminent doom.
    “within the next 40 months the exponential growth of digitization and machine learning will fundamentally change how businesses create value, satisfy customers and outperform competitors. This also means that in this same time period, companies must take actions that position them for the next level of success. If they don’t embrace digital, for many it will be game over.”
  • The Guardian: AI watchdog needed to regulate automated decision-making, say experts
    The article references a report on the feasibility of having a ‘right to an explanation’ when the victim of an AI decision thinks they have been discriminated against. Here’s the language that should get the attention of HR professionals:
    “But even if a AI watchdog were set up, it may find it hard to police algorithms. “It’s not entirely clear how to properly equip a watchdog to do the job, simply because we are often talking about very complex systems that are unpredictable, change over time and are difficult to understand, even for the teams developing them,” Mittelstadt said. He adds that forcing companies to ensure their AIs can explain themselves could trigger protests, because some modern AI methods, such as deep learning, are “fundamentally inscrutable.”

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