Alexa. She's great isn't she, although I fear she much prefers communicating with my husband than she does with me. I'll often wander up the stairs to find her chiming sweet nothings into his ear as he prepares our dinner alone in the kitchen. Sometimes, she will only shut up when HE asks her to, which can at times be frustrating but, just like our cat does, Alexa has a favourite! The man of the house. As soon as I come wading in she's all 'I'm sorry, I don't understand the question' - YEAH RIGHT! This isn't an article about the Amazon Echo that my husband and I accommodate (no thanks to me, one of his presents last Christmas), although I could probably do that justice on a different day if I had a chance!
AI. Artificial Intelligence has become serious business in 2017, more serious than ever and it's no secret that there are certain jobs at risk of extinction thanks to devices like Amazon Echo. This article on the HR Grapevine highlights BrightHR, who have introduced Amazon Echo's Alexa into their office environment. They've taken the AI plunge! As well as monitoring absences, diaries and meetings for employees at BrightHR, Alexa also decides who makes the brews and answers questions so that employees don't need to search for answers on Google. It sounds great, but it's not half a touch terrifying at the same time.
It completely blows my mind to think about artificial intelligence, especially in the context of taking over from humans and truthfully, I know nothing about it. Nothing scientific at least! I think I often consider things from an emotional standpoint, for example, can a machine really replace a human emotion? What about empathy? How do you teach a machine to recognise feelings and actually know what to do with them? Can a machine be spontaneous? Can it make decisions on a whim or are these characteristics exclusive to humans? How could a machine discipline employees? What would you do if a robot called you into a meeting room for a disciplinary?
Do you know much about AI? Share your thoughts with me...
54% of employers are already automating business processes that were once performed by people, according to a recent report from Capita Resourcing, and this figure will only rise in the coming years. Artificial intelligence and voice technology have become a big business, with sales of the Amazon Alexa reaching over 10 million, according to data from CIRP 2017. Products such as Google Assistant, Samsung Bixby, Microsoft Cortana, and Apple's Siri have also made moves into the digital assistant realm. Driven by customers who want a virtual assistant to ease with running their homes, picking up important tasks such as ordering pizza, setting important reminders, and allowing kitchen appliances to be controlled - could a robotic assistant hold a place within the modern workplace and HR?