The world is changing! Are you and your employees ready?

Tim Sackett, who will be speaking at HR Tech Festival Asia 2023, examines the potential impact Generative AI can have on the future of work.
By: | March 30, 2023

It seems like every single day there is some major announcement on Generative AI (ChatGPT and similar products). Most of the world still really does not have any idea what any of this is and how it will change the world.

We have become a bit numb to technological announcements and breakthroughs in today’s world. The media portrays every new technology like it is either the greatest thing ever or it is going to end the world. There is no longer any in-between, which makes it very hard for professionals to decipher the meaning of it all.

Let me give you one quote that I hope demonstrates a bit of how important this technological breakthrough might be different: “This (ChatGPT/Generative AI) is every bit as important as the PC, as the internet.” – Bill Gates

I think we all could say Bill Gates knows a thing or two about technology! Basically, you have Steve Jobs and Bill Gates as the two most influential voices over the past three decades when it comes to technology. Bill Gates does not usually say something is big unless it is really big.

How will Generative AI (ChatGPT) change the future of work?

Within the HR industry worldwide, this will be the question we will grapple with for the foreseeable future. At some point in the near future, Generative AI will be built into every single part of the HR technology stack. No area in HR will be untouched by this technology; in reality, for the most part, no area in any organisation will be untouched.

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“At some point in the near future, Generative AI will be built into every single part of the HR technology stack.” – Tim Sackett, President, HRU Technical Resources.

There are some potential concerns with Generative AI in terms of implementation and use within HR. Many are similar to what we had with early versions of Conversational AI and some of the machine learning technology when it was first launched. Will our AI be biased? Will the AI get us in hot water legally? Much of it falls under the lack of control or perceived lack of control we lose when instituting many of these new technologies across our HR tech stack.

My most hopeful analogy around how Generative AI will change work is to have you imagine a world where you had your own personal assistant. A world where every single person had their own personal assistant. Not just any personal assistant but one that knows everything there is to know and knows everything about you. This personal assistant would have a catalogue of every email and chat communication you have ever had and remember them all. It would know your likes and dislikes. Your dreams and aspirations. Your personal goals and your professional goals, and its sole job would be to help you reach those goals.

Does that not sound amazing?

How much more could you get done in life with this level of support? How much better quality of life would you have, both personally and professionally? This is the potential of Generative AI and models like ChatGPT.

We tend to want to focus on what technology will take away. Yes, Generative AI will take away some work, and that, in turn, will eliminate some jobs. But, like every other innovation revolution before, it will actually create exponentially more jobs than it reduces. Our fear is we do not yet know what those jobs will be. So, we tend to look at technology, like AI, as bad for work and bad for employees. We fear that which we do not know.

I believe that we are just on the cusp of some significant technological advances in HR technology. We will look back on this time as the beginning of a new way in which we administer HR to our workforce in so many ways. Our workers will have increased access and advantages through technology and produce at all-time levels. For those who embrace change and innovation, it is a great time to be working in HR!

About the Author: Tim Sackett is President, HRU Technical Resources. Join him at HR Tech Festival Asia 2023 on May 11 at 4pm (SGT), where in his closing keynote address, Sackett will explain the role of the future employee as AI continues to automate many of the functions employees perform today.