Tag: AI

Would it result in more low-income workers leaving the workforce?  

In a groundbreaking move, England is set to conduct its first-ever trial of universal basic income, with 30 individuals being offered £1,600 per month without any work obligations. The aim of the trial is to assess the impact of providing a standard income on people’s lives. 

The pilot project, proposed by the think tank Autonomy, will span a period of two years and select participants from Jarrow, a town in northeast England, as well as East Finchley in London. The objective is to determine whether this scheme effectively addresses inequality and poverty. 

If the trial proves successful, there is potential for the government to adopt universal basic income, a system in which all individuals in society receive the same salary regardless of their means or abilities. 

 Universal basic income in the age of AI 

The concept of universal basic income has gained significant attention recently due to the integration and advancements of AI in the workforce, which has raised concerns about widespread job displacement across various sectors. 

Earlier this year, a report by Goldman Sachs indicated that AI could potentially replace 300 million full-time jobs. Universal basic income has been proposed as a potential solution to cope with high unemployment rates resulting from the replacement of jobs by AI. 

Nevertheless, critics argue that the implementation of universal basic income would impose a substantial financial burden on the government and divert funds from other essential public services. 

 Advantages and Disadvantages of Universal Basic Income 

Supporters of universal basic income highlight its potential to empower workers by allowing them to reject unsuitable jobs, advocate for better working conditions, and pursue activities that genuinely interest them. Social researcher Dr David Frayne, in a note on the Autonomy website, asserts that UBI could rectify the current situation where social inclusion hinges on one’s ability to secure employment. He states, “Basic Income could solve this problem by giving people the resources to undertake productive activities for themselves and for each other if they so choose. The hope is that, with the benefit of time and a guaranteed income, people would be able to develop a range of interests and capacities outside employment. You can finally do the thing you actually want to do.” 

However, opponents argue that universal basic income would place a considerable strain on government finances and could result in reduced funding for vital public services. 

The upcoming trial in England will provide valuable insights into the potential benefits and challenges associated with universal basic income, offering an opportunity to evaluate its effectiveness in addressing societal inequalities and shaping the future of work. 

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Two-thirds of business leaders say they need deeper understanding of HR function

Business leaders identify HR as ripe for disruption by AI

New data reveals business leaders recognise the potential of AI and automation in terms of  revolutionising HR – however, businesses will only thrive if they keep HR’s human touch.

HR software company Personio surveyed 500 C-suite level executives and 1000 HR decision makers at SMEs in the UK and Ireland. The data reveals 74% of business leaders reporting there is a need for their business to become more efficient and productive and 66% believe AI and automation have potential to deliver this within the HR department.

Key findings include;

43% of HR managers are worried they’ll lose their job as more of the HR function is automated.
73% of business leaders say HR will be more important to the business in the future.
60% of UK business leaders intend to incorporate more AI and automation into their HR department in the next 5 years.

In light of recent technological advances with generative AI, like Chat GPT, 61% believe HR will be taken over by AI in the future. However, these statements about the future of HR may be a symptom of a misunderstanding of the value that HR teams deliver to organisations. The survey uncovered a clear knowledge gap, with 67% of business leaders admitting they’d like to have a better understanding about what their HR team does.

Ross Seychell, Chief People Officer at Personio, said: “Emerging technologies such as generative AI tools, like Chat GPT, have the potential to revolutionise workplaces, and the HR department is no exception. But will HR be ‘replaced’ one day by AI? I certainly don’t believe so, and the business leaders that say it is possible are short sighted and worryingly misinformed about the role that effective HR plays in businesses. Instead we can expect to see AI make HR more important, by allowing a hard-pressed department to focus more on business critical issues like building a great culture or solving retention challenges, while new technology will make admin tasks more efficient.”

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Small businesses embrace generative AI tools

According to a recent report by FreshBooks, the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on organizations continues to grow, with 25% of small businesses currently utilizing or testing generative AI tools. Encouragingly, two-thirds of these businesses plan to explore these tools for their work within the next 12 months. The report surveyed 1,000 small-business owners from diverse industries in the United States and Canada during May.

The findings suggest that small-business owners are not overly concerned about AI replacing their roles, as only 44% of respondents anticipated hiring fewer people in the future due to the capabilities of AI. Mara Reiff, Chief Data Officer at FreshBooks, explained, “Anxiety over AI has been growing lately, with workers in certain industries expressing concerns that their jobs will be replaced. In the world of small business, it appears that owners don’t feel particularly threatened and don’t believe artificial intelligence can do their jobs just as well as they can. On the other hand, their eyes are wide open to the potential of using AI as a support to help them scale.”

The survey revealed that the majority of current generative AI adopters are employing it for text generation purposes, while others are leveraging its abilities to create images or conduct general business research. Most respondents reported using AI-generated content on their business websites and social media platforms. However, fewer participants stated that they utilize generative AI content for customer support and communications.

Regarding the impact of AI on their businesses, 60% of respondents believed that AI would bring about significant changes within the next five years. The areas expected to be most affected include business analytics, sales and marketing, and customer communications, according to the report. On the other hand, respondents rated human resources, recruiting, and service delivery as the areas least likely to be impacted by AI.

Despite the growing adoption of AI, privacy, ethical concerns, and intellectual property issues were significant points of worry for 80% of small-business owners. This demonstrates a recognition of the potential risks associated with AI implementation.

Overall, the FreshBooks report highlights the growing acceptance and optimism surrounding the use of generative AI tools among small businesses. As these businesses explore AI’s potential to support their growth, they remain mindful of the ethical and privacy considerations associated with this technology.

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Japanese firms embrace ChatGPT for recruitment process

According to a report by The Mainichi, approximately 70% of recruitment staff at private firms in Japan have stated that their desire to hire candidates would not be influenced by the use of the ChatGPT chatbot for creating CVs, coversheets, and other screening materials. This information comes from a survey conducted by staffing firm Workport, which involved 139 human resource officers from companies across the country between May 9th and 16th.

Out of the respondents, 75.5% stated that the use of interactive artificial intelligence software by mid-career job applicants would not impact their hiring decision, while only 22.3% mentioned it would discourage them from considering such candidates. Some of those who expressed indifference towards the use of ChatGPT stated that they focused more on assessing work experience and achievements rather than the candidates’ writing skills.

When asked about the possibility of banning ChatGPT in the recruitment process, 71% of respondents said they had no plans to do so. The survey added that even if a ban were implemented, distinguishing between the chatbot’s writing and that produced by humans would be challenging, and some firms might be skeptical about establishing strict rules regarding the use of this technology.

Workport also conducted a survey in April, involving 480 individuals aged between their 20s and 40s, regarding ChatGPT. Nearly a third of the respondents (31%) confirmed that they had used a chatbot when attempting to change jobs. Many of them utilized the chatbot for composing and revising their written materials for job applications and other recruitment-related documents.

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It’s reported 10,000 of the axed jobs could be replaced with AI tech

BT, one of the leading telecoms giants, has announced plans to cut 55,000 jobs by the end of the decade, potentially affecting over 40% of its workforce. The company aims to replace up to a fifth of these roles with artificial intelligence (AI) technology. After completing a national fibre network roll-out and implementing digitisation and AI, BT envisions a leaner business with reduced costs. Chief Executive Philip Jansen anticipates a significant reduction in the workforce, bringing the total number of employees down from 130,000 to between 75,000 and 90,000 by 2030.

The job cuts will be implemented gradually, aligning with the completion of the fibre build and the phasing out of 3G services. Jansen described it as a “rolling programme” that will span five to seven years. The Communication Workers Union (CWU) acknowledged that these job cuts were expected due to forthcoming changes in infrastructure and technology. The CWU emphasised the importance of talks between BT and the union to ensure a smooth transition, urging the company to prioritise the retention of direct jobs over cutting contractors. The union spokesperson recognised that as BT introduces new technologies and completes the fibre infrastructure build, labour costs would naturally decrease in the future.

However, the news of BT’s AI-driven workforce reduction raises concerns among employees. Stephen Woodhouse, a senior associate solicitor, expressed his apprehension regarding the trend of companies replacing staff with AI. While acknowledging the magnitude of the job cuts, Woodhouse emphasised that they would be implemented over the course of seven years. He suggested that BT could incentivise voluntary redundancies with enhanced packages to minimise potential backlash. If the company were to resort to compulsory redundancies, full consultation with staff members on both collective and individual levels would be crucial to avoid legal ramifications.

The debate surrounding the substitution of workers with AI raises questions about the unique capabilities of humans and AI technology. Jordi Romero, Founder and CEO at Factorial, highlighted the necessity of leveraging the strengths of both AI and human resources (HR) to achieve significant positive impact. Although AI has the potential to transform businesses, Romero emphasised that human skills, knowledge, and empathy are indispensable and currently beyond the reach of AI. HR managers can harness AI technologies, such as ChatGPT, to improve various aspects of people management, including staff retention, career development, recruitment, and promoting equality and diversity. AI can streamline operations, remove barriers to progression, and personalise the employee experience. Contrary to popular belief, Romero argued that AI enables companies to focus more on people rather than processes, freeing up resources and time for HR managers to concentrate on areas like brand development, embedding company values and goals, and fostering innovation.

As BT embarks on its workforce reduction journey, the convergence of AI and HR holds promise for organisations seeking to optimise their human capital while benefiting from the efficiencies offered by AI. The true potential of this intersection is yet to be fully realised, and businesses have an opportunity to shape a future where AI and human capabilities complement each other for mutual success.

In an interview with TALiNT International, Emma Parry Head of Changing World of Work Group at Cranfield School of Management said: “AI isn’t going to take HR roles in the near future. If anything HR and TA is becoming more important to help organisations navigate the changing environment its people implications. We will see the skills that HR and TA need change as aspects of our jobs are digitised. For the foreseeable future I would expect AI to be used to augment humans, to digitise those parts of our roles that can be better performed by AI. I would actually see AI as providing opportunities in HR and TA to make better use of people data in decision-making and to remove some of the transactional cognitive work that takes up so much of our time so that we can provide more value to customers.”

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Global online job advertising soars

According to a recent report titled “Online Job Advertising Market Update” by Staffing Industry Analysts, the global online job advertising market experienced a significant increase in value in 2022, reaching $36.1 billion. This represents a 16% growth compared to the previous year. Since 2015, the market has been steadily expanding at a compound annual growth rate of 15%, as measured by SIA.

Out of the total market value, the 50 largest companies collectively generated $29.1 billion in revenue, accounting for 80% of the global market share. Impressively, the two largest firms alone commanded a substantial 45% share of the market.

The report also highlights the rapid expansion of artificial intelligence (AI) applications within online job advertising. Various use cases for AI were identified, including candidate fraud detection, AI-powered chatbots for client interactions, automated writing of job advertisements, filling job applications, and generating cover letters.

Based on the report’s findings, the top five global online job advertising firms in terms of revenue for 2022 were as follows:

  1. Microsoft (LinkedIn) – $8.28 billion, capturing a 23% market share.
  2. Recruit Holdings (Indeed) – $8.03 billion, holding a 22% market share.
  3. Axel Springer (Stepstone/Totaljobs/Jobsite) – $1.60 billion, representing a 4% market share.
  4. Seek – $957 million, constituting a 3% market share.
  5. ZipRecruiter – $905 million, also occupying a 3% market share.
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AI revolutionizes HR decision-making

The utilization of artificial intelligence (AI) for managing employees in organizations is on the rise, as per a survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). The survey revealed that 82% of HR professionals reported their organizations employing AI-driven people analytics to evaluate employee retention and turnover, while 71% utilized it for recruitment, interviewing, and hiring processes.

Alex Alonso, the Chief Knowledge Officer at SHRM, highlighted the growing reliance on people analytics among HR leaders. “HR leaders are increasingly looking to people analytics as a tool to answer key business questions,” said Alonso. He further emphasized that 74% of HR executives whose organizations employed people analytics considered it crucial for their HR strategies. When used appropriately, people analytics and AI enable HR professionals and leaders to make informed decisions, enhance the employee experience, and positively impact the organization’s bottom line.

Nevertheless, the report unveiled certain challenges faced by HR executives using people analytics. Over half of these executives (58%) expressed the need for more resources to enhance the data literacy of HR professionals, while 56% required support for their data infrastructure.

The report also indicated a disparity in data quality perception, as only 29% of HR professionals utilizing people analytics believed their organizations’ overall data quality to be high or very high. Furthermore, 95% of HR professionals whose organizations adopted people analytics emphasized the importance of understanding the reasoning behind AI algorithmic decisions. Additionally, 88% stated that they would not trust recommendations generated by AI without this knowledge.

SHRM’s survey involved 2,149 HR professionals from organizations utilizing people analytics as part of their operations.

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Concerns were raised before Congress on how AI will impact job availability

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman appealed to Congress to regulate artificial intelligence (AI) during his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Altman, along with two other AI experts, emphasized the need for governance of AI at both federal and global levels. They expressed concerns about the potential dangers of unregulated AI and called for measures to avoid significant harm.

Altman compared the impact of AI to the printing press and urged collaboration to ensure positive outcomes. Professor Gary Marcus suggested the establishment of an oversight agency similar to the Food and Drug Administration, requiring AI creators to prove safety and justify the benefits. However, some senators expressed skepticism, likening AI’s potential impact to the atomic bomb.

During the nearly three-hour session, various concerns were raised, including the impact on job availability, potential manipulation of public opinion, and the need to regulate AI in high-risk areas such as elections. Altman acknowledged the risks of AI and emphasized the importance of preventing harm to society.

The senators acknowledged the need to learn from past mistakes regarding data privacy and misinformation on social media platforms. They expressed their determination to address AI-related challenges before they become significant threats.

During the hearing, senators raised concerns about compensation for artists whose work is used to train AI models, language inclusivity, protection for local news agencies, the impact of AI on military drones, and safeguarding children’s use of AI tools. Altman and the other experts expressed willingness to continue collaborating with the government to find solutions.

Jeremy Rafuse, Vice President & Head of Digital Workplace at GoTo commented: “The topic of AI is dominating the news agenda. With the exponential rise of AI engines, public figures are calling for officials to ‘regulate before it’s too late’ over growing AI anxiety – will I be replaced by a robot?

“But we’re missing something here when questioning AI: the human touch.

“Humans have the innate ability to question when things aren’t quite right, taking active leadership in the way that their systems operate. Human support can offer empathy and emotional support to users who are frustrated, helping to build a stronger connection between users and the IT support team. It is only alongside human expertise that AI and advanced machine learning can run effectively. Human support staff can provide guidance and expertise to AI systems to help them better understand and respond to requests. By training AI systems and incorporating human feedback, AI can improve its accuracy and responsiveness over time. This will bolster business IT capacities by reducing downtime and operating more efficiently.”

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New AI platform revolutionises recruitment process

AI company Globus.ai has announced the launch of its ChatGPT-powered staffing feature to help streamline the recruitment process for both talent and recruiters.

With this new platform, recruiters can create campaigns tailored to each individual role, including; location and qualifications – saving valuable time. Similarly, for candidates, the AI’s platform helps to match them with the most suitable job opportunities via the recruitment portal. Candidates can also use this portal to browse job opportunities, increasing engagement with the staffing agency.

Launched in 2017 with AI at its core, Globus.ai empowers recruiters and talent by streamlining the staffing process and revolutionising how staffing agencies hire candidates with the use of AI. Backed by large Venture Capitalists from Europe and the US, Globus.ai’s existing customers include Dedicare, OnePartnerGroup and Randstad.

This news comes alongside Globus.ai being recognised in Staffing Industry Analysts’ (SIA) ‘Staffing Platforms as a Service Global Landscape 2023’ report. The company is the only Northern Europe provider to be included in the report, which helps to align company decision makers with the best staffing platforms.

Helge Bjorland, CEO and Co-founder at Globus.ai, said: “The mainstream reach of ChatGPT has meant that many companies now identify as AI companies. We’re already finding that recruiters are turning away from agencies if they’re not embracing the capabilities that AI brings, which emphasises the importance of our mission.”

Andreas Nordlund, CTO at OnePartnerGroup,said: “My job is to ensure that our technology aligns with our business goals and supports our teams in delivering innovative solutions to our customers and partners, that’s where Globus adds value. We want to use AI to make our recruitment and staffing processes more efficient and improve the experience for both candidates and clients, while still keeping human competence at the centre of everything we do.”

To learn more about Globus.ai, visit the website here.

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APAC employees optimistic about AI adoption

According to Microsoft’s 2023 Work Trend Index, employees from the Asia Pacific (APAC) region are showing optimism about artificial intelligence (AI). Despite the anxiety of getting replaced, many believe that bots can help ease their heavy workloads. The study includes responses from 14 markets in APAC such as Australia, Mainland China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The report found that 78% of employees in APAC would delegate work to AI to reduce their workloads, including analytical and creative tasks, in addition to administrative tasks. The findings come as the majority of employees in APAC are overwhelmed by the volume of data, emails, and chats they need to process in a day. For 72% of APAC respondents, they do not have enough time and energy to complete their work, and they are three times more likely to say they struggle with innovation.

However, the findings also arrived amid growing concerns that AI could replace employees soon. A recent report from Goldman Sachs found that generative AI, such as Chat GPT, DALL-E, and LaMDA, could put at risk 300 million full-time jobs. Majority (86%) of HR professionals are also concerned that their roles could be automated in the future, according to a 2021 SkyNova research. Fears that they could be replaced are reflected in Microsoft’s report – as 58% said they are worried that AI would replace their jobs. Nonetheless, leaders surveyed were not as concerned about this happening and were 1.9 times more likely to say AI is most helpful in boosting productivity instead of cutting headcount.

According to the report, employees will need to develop skills in emerging AI tech, where 85% of leaders surveyed said staff will need new skills in the AI era. “The most pressing opportunity and responsibility for every leader is to understand how to leverage AI to remove the drudgery of work, unleash creativity, and build AI aptitude,” said Vinod Muralidharan, general manager Modern Work, Microsoft Asia, in a media release.

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