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Analyst warning: HR should watch out for ‘spectacular’ AI fails

Jill Barthhttps://hrexecutive.com/
Jill Barth is HR Tech Editor of Human Resource Executive. She is an award-winning journalist with bylines in Forbes, USA Today and other international publications. With a background in communications, media, B2B ecommerce and the workplace, she also served as a consultant with Gallagher Benefit Services for nearly a decade. Reach out at [email protected].

In 2024, artificial intelligence is set to revolutionize how many people work, leveraging automation to fuel productivity. That’s been shouted from the rooftops and documented by business leaders, tech firms and governments. The World Economic Forum anticipates that automation will displace 85 million current jobs over the next five years, meanwhile creating 97 million new ones.

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Scott Cawood, CEO of WorldatWork, told HRE that this might create an environment of uncertainty for employees as they fear new ways of working could diminish their value and security. “Automation and AI will cease to be unknowns and integrate themselves such that a polarity of us can see their advantages up close,” he says. “[2024] may well be the year it happens.”

Scott Cawood, CEO of WorldatWork
Scott Cawood, CEO of WorldatWork

However, the flip side reveals a possibly turbulent 2024 marked by a “spectacular fail” if AI use isn’t managed properly, according to technology analyst firm Valoir.

Valoir’s prediction underscores issues of immature technology, insufficient policies and a lack of robust training and safeguards. A November 2023 Valoir brief predicts the convergence of these factors could create a “perfect storm for AI accidents far more dramatic than just hallucinations.” While AI hallucinations are often relatively harmless inaccuracies or unexpected patterns that surface in generated outcomes, they can cause trouble for users. Still, this is a known risk. The Valoir team warns that damages that aren’t yet known could surface in 2024.

What could that mean for HR leaders? “Expect public fails, lawsuits and executive shakeups at both technology vendors and AI adopters when things go awry,” according to the brief.

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Valoir’s warning is clear: Stakeholders—including tech vendors and AI for HR adopters— must be prepared for unforeseen challenges and be proactive in implementing comprehensive measures to mitigate risks.

HR tech in action

In a recent joint announcement, Salesforce and ADP revealed a partnership expected to benefit over 1 million ADP clients. This will equip ADP’s service teams with real-time information for swift client responses. For example, gen AI will sift through thousands of ADP knowledge articles so customer responders can provide quick answers to queries.

According to Karin Kimbrough, chief economist at LinkedIn, U.S. and U.K. job seekers are applying to around 15% more roles than they did in late 2022. The LinkedIn team says the increase is due to easing labor market conditions. Kimbrough also told Forbes that applicants have been more “aggressive” thanks to AI-driven tools.

The Conference Board, a not-for-profit think tank, found that CHROs are investing in AI. Sixty-one percent say they are leveraging the tech to streamline HR processes, and 21% look to AI to result in a competitive advantage. This suggests a mounting interest in AI for efficiency gains rather than building a strategic edge in the market.

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The chief legal and people officer at InStride, a tech-enabled services company that delivers workforce education solutions, supplies 10 key metrics to track in 2024 so HR leaders can confidently answer the question: Is workforce education worth the investment?

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