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Why artificial intelligence is ‘top of mind’ as ethics leaders gather in Paris

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].

I had a conversation this week with Asha Palmer, senior vice president of compliance with employee development platform Skillsoft. She spoke to me from Paris, while attending the European Business Ethics Forum, where several sessions covered the ethics of AI.

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Although artificial intelligence has been built into many workplace systems for years, the widespread use of new generative tools has brought AI to the “top of mind” for compliance professionals globally. Almost every employee has access to gen AI platforms, but many organizations have not established any formal oversight. “That’s creating a bit of a panic for other departments trying to mitigate risk,” Palmer says.

Asha Palmer, SVP compliance, Skillsoft
Asha Palmer, SVP compliance, Skillsoft

As I mentioned in last week’s column, U.S. states and municipalities are attempting to chip away at the risks of AI with new legislation. This week U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced the U.S. AI Safety Institute Consortium (AISIC).

The consortium includes over 200 member companies and organizations supporting the development and deployment of safe and trustworthy AI. The consortium includes orgs from academia, government and industry, including Deloitte, Eightfold AI, Ernst & Young, PwC, Workday and more.

AISIC will contribute to actions outlined in President Biden’s Executive Order, including developing guidelines for risk management, safety and security and watermarking synthetic content.

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Meanwhile, big players in the industry are proposing their own best practices for responsible AI. This week, Nick Clegg, president of global affairs at Meta, stated that the company is promoting an industry-wide technical standard for labeling AI-generated content.

“As the difference between human and synthetic content gets blurred, people want to know where the boundary lies,” he said. Clegg committed that images created with Meta AI will bear a visible marker as well as an invisible watermark and metadata hidden in the image file.

There’s likely more to come from Meta, as the owner of four of the 10 largest social media platforms. Lacking firm governmental regulations, many HR leaders will rely on safeguards put into place by technology vendors, so news from any of the big players will potentially influence businesses.

On to some updates…

HR tech in action

Workforce fintech Papaya Global invested heavily to build an end-to-end workforce platform that executes worker payments. To reach a wide audience with this news, football fans will see Papaya this weekend in a Super Bowl ad debut, a 30-second, ping pong-themed commercial.

Earned wage access platform Rain recently announced it has secured $300 million in financing from Clear Haven Capital Management, with plans to grow its customer base and scale its offering. This comes amid signals that more employers are considering on-demand pay; a recent ADP survey of 600 businesses found 82% of leaders interested in this benefit.

Employee recognition platform Workhuman launched Admin Hub to enhance program manager oversight and controls of administrative tasks. The company is also optimizing parts of its social recognition workflow.

AI-driven intranet platform Assembly released Employee Recognition Assistant, which uses GPT technology to create personalized appreciation messages integrated into daily employee workflows.

Paycom announced the launch of GONE, a feature that automates decision-making for time-off requests. It provides a customizable decision engine for time-off approval and denial based on various factors.

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