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AI - should I be scared?

Updated: Aug 18, 2020


Movies like “Matrix” and “Terminator” have shown how machines can take over the world and movies like “I-robot” show that there is still hope. It is but natural for human beings to be fearful of things that they cannot control or fathom. So, when we talk about artificial intelligence and its potential, the notion of losing control can sow seeds of doubt naturally. The rate at which we have progressed in this field is mind-boggling. Should we all prepare for Armageddon?


Sorry, I might sound a bit dramatic. Effect of too many sci-fi movies, I guess. In the real world, proponents of AI always talk about robots replacing what humans do and to a large extent it is true. The production line of Ford Manufacturing had so many hands-on the deck.


There was a specific job for every employee in the assembly line where their coordinated effort would result in a car at the end of the assembly line. Nowadays if you were to walk into an automobile manufacturer, you would not see so many people but robots performing more of the tasks. But that is not Artificial Intelligence(AI) I hear you say?


AI is designed to mimic human beings and given that the system uses mathematical algorithms, self-learning engines and neural networks. However, it is our humble attempt to create something like us, i.e. replicate our brains. The comforting factor is that we are yet to understand how our brain works and without that knowledge, we could potentially struggle to create an AI engine that mirrors the human brain.


That can be a bit comforting to know. However, there are so many studies underway to understand how the human brain works. Scientists claim that we should be able to gain massive insight in the next decade or so. That would imply that our AI engines could be refined, and they could start getting better.


When we moved from the agricultural to the industrial economy, machines came into existence. It did not replace agriculture but made it easy for the farmer to do their job. When robots are replacing human beings in manufacturing it has not caused the world to come to a standstill. We have accepted that these robots are doing the job of human beings better with minimal error, cost and faster. New roles are continuously created and will be created going forward. Data technicians, Data architects, Data scientists are some of the new careers that have emerged in the last 5 years


When it comes to recruitment, the role of recruitment agencies will change. More emphasis will be placed on relationships. The value HR brings to an organisation will eventually get them to partner with recruitment agencies to identify and recruit talent. Recruitment agencies have the opportunity to step up and become talent managers than talent providers. They would/ could emerge as a talent management agency where they would rely on quality over quantity.


When AI comes of age, no doubt it will place immense pressure on the workers whether they are qualified or unqualified. That, in turn, would place a high value on jobs involving humans and more specifically on creative roles. We are in the experience economy, and the natural transition to the new age economy will be driven by knowledge and insight.


Ultimately, an intelligent machine’s value increases only by the knowledge we humans provide and how we interact with it, not in the machine itself. That, in turn, means that we need to be trained, agile and stay ahead of the curve. That ultimately will be a good thing!

Compaira was set up to make not just recruitment but talent management better. Not because AI is clever because it is fairer. Not because it is inhuman – always because it can help us be more human. Fancy a chat to know more? Why not contact us at wecanbebetter@compaira.com

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