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2018 predictions – machine learning and artificial intelligence in the workplace

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Over the New Year break I’ve spent some time reflecting on the
impact that developments in machine learning and artificial intelligence could have on workplace inclusion and workforce diversity.

In October I wrote about the role machine learning and artificial intelligence could potentially play in making decisions based upon personal characteristics of individuals.  I’ve also mused on how we should consider multiple machine learning environments to challenge each other so as to ensure that desirable outcomes are achieved, and challenges are escalated for human attention.

As we look forward to 2018 here are my thoughts on technological developments coming over the horizon that will potentially have an impact on inclusion and diversity in organisations:

  1. AI enabled personal assistants will be developed and deployed in the corporate context specifically to provide support to neurodiverse talent or those requiring alternative ways to communicate.
  2. Ethics engines will be developed that rather than seeking to make decisions for or on behalf of human beings will actually review their business decisions and where necessary challenge them in the context of adherence to corporate values. E.g.: through a staff recruitment process.
  3. We will see the first job descriptions emerging that include where automation or AI may be introduced in future. Almost like “AI job descriptions” whereby a company describes a job to be done as if it were a human role profile, but is actually for bots.
  4. We will see formal complaints from employees or job applicants that they have been discriminated against due to the use of technology in making people-based decisions in the workplace. Corporates will have to consider updating their policies and procedures accordingly.
  5. The first cases of employees using machine learning or artificial intelligence to perform parts of their own jobs, without necessarily telling their employers that they are doing so, will emerge.
  6. There will be increasing political pressure on businesses to publish open standards for how these technologies are being used in making people-based decisions, especially where it has implications for macro-economic factors such as employment rates of women, mature workers and so on.
  7. Recruitment consultants will offer services to job candidates that specifically assist them to position their CVs, online presence, and job applications in a way that optimises their prospects through AI recruitment engines that will likely be analysing such data.
  8. Corporates will offer staff “wellbeing and productivity bots” that monitor staff work patterns and seek to offer improvement recommendations.

2018 is going to be a very exciting year as science fiction becomes science fact it’s essential that employers and organisations ensure that technology and AI is used to support a diverse and inclusive workforce.  

About Steven

Steven has extensive experience in strategic executive leadership having led large business units at Fujitsu. Steven has had full and operational delivery responsibility for $1bn annual revenue business, including sales / growth, of full-service range (consultancy and change programmes, to operational IT services) to multiple clients. Leading business through changes in strategic direction, crisis management, transformational turnarounds especially those delivering business critical services to clients such as Public Sector / National Government. Steven engages well with C-suite executives and senior stakeholders, including in previous roles with UK Government Cabinet Ministers.


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