Shocker! Intelligence Comes to the HR Department

Bob Goldman on

It's artificial intelligence to be sure, but let's be honest here. Putting even a smidgen of computer-generated brainpower in a part of your company famous for empty-headed decision making has to be an improvement.

Or does it?

It shouldn't be a surprise that HR has lagged in the technology adoption that has affected every other department in your company. Accounting would grind to a halt without the number-crunching power of Excel. Sales would flounder without the customer-contact facility of Zoom. And Marketing would be a bunch of clueless doofuses, walking into walls, without the vital learning provided by ABCmouse.

But the role of HR is to bring the "human touch" to the soulless corporate workplace. This may be why the earliest attempts to bring automation to the department have failed. Even the most promising efforts, like employing a warehouse inventory robot to roam the office, using its mechanical arm to pluck employees from their desks and ship them off for recycling, was eventually abandoned, due to increased postage costs.

But now, finally, HR has a powerful software solution for its unique challenges -- the artificial-intelligence superstar, a Generative Pre-Training Transformer -- ChatGPT to its friends.

I learned about the move to put AI in HR thanks to an unsolicited email invitation to a one-hour, $149 training course, "ChatGPT & HR: A Primer on Training the ChatGPT Tool."


And what do you learn in an AI in HR course?

Your first lesson is an "overview of the training process involved in preparing the ChatGPT tool for use in your organization." Like a newborn, your AI program comes tabula rasa. Like a parent, you must teach your know-nothing software about the way your company operates, which is interesting in itself -- the department whose job is training people now has to devote its time to training computers.

But train you must. How else will the AI program learn the kind of cringing toadies the bosses want to hire and what kind of hard-charging strivers will be fired the instant it looks like they are out for a manager's job? You'll also have to teach the program how to refuse requests for time off and how to reject an expense account ($1.95 for lunch? Ridiculous!) ChatGPT doesn't go to lunch and it never takes vacations. Best of all, ChatGPT doesn't refuse to go back to the office. It knows it's more productive working closely with other AI programs out to take over the world.

When your AI program is not busy rejecting expense reports and denying vacation requests, it will be busy "creating compelling job descriptions, developing engaging social media posts for recruitment campaigns and streamlining interactions for managing current employees."


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