Blog: CIPD Festival of Work (part 2 of 3) - Artificial Intelligence

Tue 04 Jul 2023

Angela Tracey-Brown

Product Manager - CMI

In this second installment of our three-part series, Emily Allen, MOL HR Product Manager, takes us through more of her thoughts following the CIPD Festival of Work.

This week I’m focusing on Artificial Intelligence, and my take-aways from the CIPD Festival of Work event.

AI has for many years been making efficiencies in the workplace (self-service checkouts, call centres, chat bots, etc). But the pace is dramatically changing now and how we use the capability of the ever-improving AI options will be very telling.

If AI takes all the low-level admin roles, how will new employees work their way up? Or should we be re-thinking that model?

From conversations around AI, the reality is that we don’t know how it is going to be used and what it will be used for. Is it going to remain a powerful tool we can use to harness greater efficiencies and returns? Will it speed up the pace of life so we are busier than ever? Or will it become autonomous so humans will no longer be able to control it, potentially leading to the apocalypse? Not even the experts can answer these questions.

What we do know is that as a profession, HR needs to be implementing the use of AI responsibly to ensure we are still thinking about job design and satisfaction, employee wellbeing and ensuring there is a career ladder. After all, if AI takes all the low-level admin roles, how will new employees work their way up? Or should we be re-thinking that model in any case? Just because that is the way we have grown our careers over the past century, maybe giving a newly qualified school/uni leaver a job so they can “get their foot in the door” isn’t the most inspiring way to utilise their talents and support their organisations. After all, Gen Z are coming into the workplace and questioning why they have to be at the bottom of the food chain when they start at an organisation. They have skills, time and effort to give and want to input into the strategy.

One thing is for certain, we are going to need to keep talking about this as AI capabilities are changing daily.

Next week, in my final blog from the CIPD Festival of Work, I’ll be discussing online vs face-to face-working – a controversial subject!

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