Chatbots in HR: AI for people, not robots

Rereading Zachary Chertok’s article about artificial intelligence in human capital management reminded me of why we do what we do. Chertok explained the tug-of-war going on between Wall Street and the human capital technology market. Wall Street bases its vision of artificial intelligence on the replacement value of human labor. We in the HCM technology business seek to use AI to help humans work smarter.

From the 1980s until just a few years ago, HR technology focused on making HR work more efficient. It worked. HR teams are now a tiny fraction of the size they were 30 years ago.

There was a cost. For the employee who needed to use HR services, the experience changed from a face-to-face conversation with a helpful assistant to complicated self-service software. We hated it. Not that it was so hard to use once we got used to it, but we used it so seldom that we had to relearn it. The conversation changed from Hey, Jack, can you help me sign up for leadership training? to Where is that #@&% user guide? Never mind. I’ll just call Jack - but Jack’s busy.

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