Guided intelligence

Let’s agree, the whole subject of Artificial Intelligence in the workplace is not going away any time soon. But let’s not give up on humanity just yet, we are still pretty smart.

Yes, the machines are coming to take over repetitive tasks, and yes they are really good at things like mathematics and equations and storing lots of data and playing Chess. But at what point does the focus on artificial intelligence as a solution to everything start to border on blind obsession? Apparently, AI can help to predict everything from the right people to hire, to people who are likely to leave, to what pay-rise someone should get. Sounds impressive.

What worries us a little is that there are bonafide human experts in the fields of psychology and biology and neuroscience who will openly say they don’t yet truly understand everything about human intelligence. It’s too advance to truly understand, which is going to make it really difficult to replicate let alone replace. It simply isn’t going to be possible for an algorithm to learn anything it hasn’t already been taught to learn. This is just the way it is.

Sure, it might be possible to one-day create an algorithm that predicts with some level of accuracy who is likely to leave their job next some companies claim to already have this capability), but what happens the moment team members figure out that a computer is making judgments about their behaviour? The secondary and tertiary effects of circumstances such as this have probably not been considered properly. What game are we actually then creating?

And in situations that involve either limited scenarios (there are only so many moves available in Chess) or the analysis of behaviour of other machines (where cause and effect is often predictable), it is difficult for humans to compete. But when it comes to understanding the behaviour of humans, we humans still have an edge in many areas simply because we are highly complex beings. Unlike machines, the line between cause and effect is rarely a straight one. Context, emotion, beliefs, perception, these are all abstract concepts that are unique to individuals. Despite the claims, there isn’t yet a machine that is smart enough to truly understand these things. For this reason, one needs to exercise a lot of caution when relying on ‘predictive analytics’ that are machine generated.

We are all about supporting success

At My Employee Life, we are taking a slightly different point of view about artificial intelligence. Yes, technology is cool and awesome and all of that (we are a technology product afterall). However, we are firmly focused on providing a simple way to support human intelligence rather than replace it. Rather than trying to collect and analyse data for the purposes of prediction, our simple framework guides everyone towards a few simple success habits that then lead to better conversations. There is still no better technology available to support workplace success than effective communication between people.

Specifically, there are three success habits that can never be replaced by artificial intelligence. Get these right, and everything is better for everyone:

  1. Set clear expectations. This is all about having an effective two-way conversation which doesn’t actually require any technology (unless you are using a phone or computer to have the conversation). An effective two-way conversation is the foundation of everything great!
  2. Reflect on your own performance. At work, we get paid to do things. The people who reflect on their own performance, and work with others to keep improving, are going to have the best jobs in the future. Getting into the habit now can only be a good thing. My Employee Life lets you keep a record of anything that is important so it isn’t forgotten.
  3. Proactively communicate when it most matters. Now. Don’t let technology do the communicating for you, and try to move away from situations that review the past well beyond when something happens (performance reviews, we are looking at you). Ask questions, discuss challenges and speak about things that need context.

The right proactive guidance beats artificial predictions any day

In the future, it’s hard to say with any certainty just how well artificial intelligence will be able to predict the behaviour of individuals. What we do know for certain is that with the right proactive guidance and support, there is a lot people can achieve without technology. It’s something worth focusing on.

Click HERE to request a free demo of My Employee Life today.