Transhumanism and Discrimination in the Future of Work

25 |There has been a lot of talk about diversity and inclusion as it pertains to the workplace. Do a search on duck duck go or some other search engine and you will no doubt discover countless articles about it. Yet, as I review several of the articles linked to from the search results, no one seems to be talking about a new demographic of workers that will no doubt disrupt the future world of work. What is the population I’m talking about? What is the one characteristic they all share? Well, in a word – transhumanism. Listen to this podcast to hear about future HR issues that will surely come.


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About the host:

Over the past decade, Jim Stroud has built an expertise in sourcing and recruiting strategy, public speaking, lead generation, video production, podcasting, online research, competitive intelligence, online community management and training. He has consulted for such companies as Microsoft, Google, MCI, Siemens, Bernard Hodes Group and a host of startup companies. During his tenure with Randstad Sourceright, he alleviated the recruitment headaches of their clients worldwide as their Global Head of Sourcing and Recruiting Strategy.  He now serves ClickIQ as its VP, Product Evangelist.

PODCAST TRANSCRIPT

There has been a lot of talk about diversity and inclusion as it pertains to the workplace. Do a search on duck duck go or some other search engine and you will no doubt discover countless articles about it. Yet, as I review several of the articles linked to from the search results, no one seems to be talking about a new demographic of workers that will no doubt disrupt the future world of work. What is the population I’m talking about? What is the one characteristic they all share? Well, in a word – transhumanism. I’ll explain what that is after this.


I have a question for Talent Acquisition Managers, how many jobs do you advertise a year? 100? 500? 10,000 or more? If so, let me give you a tip on how to maximize your job adverting budget. And that tip is, ClickIQ.

ClickIQ’s automated job advertising platform manages, tracks and optimizes the performance of your job advertising in real time, focusing your money where it’s needed most to reach both active and passive job seekers across Indeed, Google, Facebook, Instagram and an extensive network of job boards.

So, talent acquisition managers, if you want to make sure you are getting the most value out of your job advertising budget, I highly suggest you check out ClickIq online at www.clickiq.us. Or, you can email me directly. My email is jim at-click-dot-us

That’s right! I was so impressed by the technology behind ClickIQ that I joined the company. I think you will be impressed as well.Again, on the web – www.clickiq.us or email me directly jim at-click-dot-us.

You’ll be glad you did.

Wikipedia defines transhumanism this way, “Transhumanism is an international intellectual movement that aims to transform the human condition by developing and making widely available sophisticated technologies to greatly enhance human intellect and physiology.”

Transhumanism.org says, transhumanism is a way of thinking about the future that is based on the premise that the human species in its current form does not represent the end of our development but rather a comparatively early phase.

The definition I like the most is the one I found at CARM.org. They define transhumanism as the idea that human beings, as a whole, can be drastically improved in physical and mental areas with technologies, such as cloning, genetic modification, bionics, nanotechnology, drugs, etc.

The concept reminds me of an old TV show, “The Six Million Dollar Man.” In the show, an astronaut crashes to earth and scientists rebuild his body with bionic parts enabling him to run faster, see great distances and lifts tons of weight.

{clip from the TV show}

The Six Million Dollar Man was science fiction from the 1970’s. I’m sure you can imagine that the progress of technology is such that implanting technology inside of our bodies is not too hard to imagine. I mean, what are pacemakers? But pacemakers are one thing, they don’t give someone a competitive advantage in the workplace. What happens when the technology implanted inside someone gives them a competitive edge in the office? Would they be seen as the most qualified people, as far as recruiters and hiring managers are concerned? If so, how is that fair to all the other workers who don’t have that implanted technology? And if they discovered that they were at a disadvantage, how would they likely react? Well, I have a case study for you.

Oscar Pistorius can run a quarter mile in 45.07 seconds — fast enough to compete in the 2012 Olympic Games. And he did it without feet. Oscar was born without the bones that attach ankles to knees, so the South African had to have his legs amputated halfway down his calves as a baby. Years later as an adult, Pistorius runs on specialized prosthetics: crescent blades made of carbon fiber that attach to his knees called “Cheetah Flex-Feet.” As a double-amputee, Oscar holds world records for the 100-, 200- and 400-meter dashes. In 2007, he began competing against — and beating — world-class, able-bodied athletes. But amid his incredible success, some of Pistorius’ opponents have objected.

Here’s a quote from a 2012 article on Oscar Pistorious, it says…

“Late in 2007, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) ruled that [Oscar Pistorious’] artificial limbs were actually giving him an unfair advantage — that their springiness allowed him to push off the ground more efficiently than does a normal human ankle, letting him coast along at higher speeds using less exertion than other sprinters. [As a result] He was banned from able-bodied competition.

However, thanks to subsequent research and testimony led by biophysicist Hugh Herr, head of the Biomechatronics Research Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the IAAF overturned the previous ruling.”

I think in the future, the near-future, arguments similar to this will be had at a workplace near you. Someone will have a perceived technological advantage and those without it will protest. In the end, whatever brings more profit to the company will win out.

Consider this possibility, the car company – FORD has their assembly line workers wearing exoskeletons  which helps them lift and hold car parts overhead. The exoskeletons reduce wear and tear on employee’s bodies. As of August 2018, 15 Ford factories in seven countries are now wearing exoskeleton vests to reduce fatigue and injury. I don’t know much about exoskeleton technology so, take what I say next, with a grain of salt.

In the future, when it comes to hiring more assembly line workers for a car factory, experience with exoskeletons may be a requirement. If so, would someone with prosthetic limbs be the better hire? A careful analysis of data proves that people with prosthetic limbs are cheaper for a company to insure because, in the event of an accident, artificial limbs are easily replaced. As such, candidates with artificial limbs represent a lower risk to an enterprise than someone with all-natural born limbs. So, is it discrimination to hire those with artificial limbs or a logical business action based on data?

If you think that is just too… I don’t know… something. Here are a few more possibilities to wrap your brain around. And keep in mind, all of these examples are true. In fact, you can find the links to everything I cite on JimStroud.com.

Back in 2017, scientists were using electro-ence-pha-lography (EEG) sensors to pick up and monitor brain activity. A company called Neurosky used that technology to take pictures and post them to Facebook and Twitter just by thinking about it. Taking that into consideration, who is more qualified to be a Social Media Manager? A human with EEG brain implants who can post to social media at the speed of thought or someone without that technology implanted inside them? In a fast-paced political era and short news cycles, candidates with EEG brain implants are preferred by companies seeking every competitive edge they can get. So, that being said, is it discrimination for companies to give preference to candidates with EEG brain implants over those without it?

In 2014, researchers from Harvard University were able to send a simple mental message from one person in India to another person in France; essentially proving “brain to brain” communication. [I talked about this before in an earlier podcast.] So, that being said, when it comes to hiring Programmers in the future, companies will prefer to hire programmers that can work telepathically because they are more efficient.  As a result, candidates without telepathic implants that empower brain to brain communication may not be hired as much. Is this a discriminatory practice or simply the most efficient way to work? 

And then, there are designer babies. Back in 2017, scientists in the United States have successfully corrected a disease-causing mutation by altering genetic structure of a human embryo. Purpose being, genes that carry certain diseases will not be passed on to “newborns.” [I talked about this in an earlier podcast too.]  Now consider all of the ramifications of employing designer babies and the biases become apparent. Companies that focus on hiring “designer babies” can brag that they offer exorbitant healthcare benefits because it is unlikely certain diseases and conditions would even occur.  Designer babies tend to have IQs higher than the national average due to their genetic enhancements. They tend to be better educated since designer babies tend to come from wealthy families that can afford such treatments. Most of all, due to so many social advantages, designer babies have social connections which would be assets to any business development effort. Such being the case, is it discriminatory to target these individuals for high-paying jobs over non-genetically altered human beings? Or simply, the best business strategy?

 Sigh… The possibilities are enough to freak you out, if you let it. Don’t let it.

If you love what you heard, hate what you heard or, don’t know what you just heard, I want to know about it. You can leave a comment concerning this podcast on my website at www.JimStroud.com. In addition to finding source material and related information for this podcast episode, you’ll find other goodies that I hope will make you smile. And if you have not already, please subscribe to my website. Your continued support keeps  this podcast train chugging down the track. Whoot-whoot, whoot-whoot, whoot-whoot…

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Big Data Knows You’re Going to Quit Your Job Before You Do

Are you happy on your job? Are you unsatisfied with your work? Perhaps, you’ve already begun spending quality time on Indeed.com in search of new opportunities? And yet, you’ve kept all this to yourself, as you continue to plod along in a job you are starting to hate. What if I told you that with the help of big data and magic algorithms, companies are able to spot employees like you and with that knowledge, offer you a promotion, a raise or more fulfilling tasks, all in an effort to retain you as their employee. Sound crazy? Its not. IBM has software that can predict which workers are about to quit their jobs with 95% accuracy. Tune in to hear a very interesting  podcast!


Listen to this podcast on Anchor.fm or on your favorite podcast platform.

Subscribe to this podcast via your favorite podcast platform!

About the host:

Over the past decade, Jim Stroud has built an expertise in sourcing and recruiting strategy, public speaking, lead generation, video production, podcasting, online research, competitive intelligence, online community management and training. He has consulted for such companies as Microsoft, Google, MCI, Siemens, Bernard Hodes Group and a host of startup companies. During his tenure with Randstad Sourceright, he alleviated the recruitment headaches of their clients worldwide as their Global Head of Sourcing and Recruiting Strategy.  He now serves ClickIQ as its VP, Product Evangelist.

PODCAST TRANSCRIPT

When you think of prisoners working inside of a jail, what comes to mind? Prisoners cooking, mopping floors, folding clothes…? Yes, all of those are certainly true and now you can add one more – training artificial intelligence algorithms. I’ll explain, after this.


I have a question for Talent Acquisition Managers, how many jobs do you advertise a year? 100? 500? 10,000 or more? If so, let me give you a tip on how to maximize your job adverting budget. And that tip is, ClickIQ.

ClickIQ’s automated job advertising platform manages, tracks and optimizes the performance of your job advertising in real time, focusing your money where it’s needed most to reach both active and passive job seekers across Indeed, Google, Facebook, Instagram and an extensive network of job boards.

So, talent acquisition managers, if you want to make sure you are getting the most value out of your job advertising budget, I highly suggest you check out ClickIq online at www.clickiq.us. Or, you can email me directly. My email is jim at-click-dot-us

That’s right! I was so impressed by the technology behind ClickIQ that I joined the company. I think you will be impressed as well.Again, on the web – www.clickiq.us or email me directly jim at-click-dot-us.

You’ll be glad you did.

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty spoke at CNBC’s @ Work Talent + HR Summit on the future of work; specifically, her talk was on AI and how it would change jobs. Here’s a clip.

{clip}

From this interview and other places online, I discovered a few more interesting things that IBM is doing, as reported by CNBC.

  • [quote] IBM HR has a patent for its “predictive attrition program” which was developed with Watson to predict employee flight risk and prescribe actions for managers to engage employees. Rometty would not explain “the secret sauce” that allowed the AI to work so effectively in identifying workers about to jump (officially, IBM said the predictions are now in the 95 percent accuracy “range”). Rometty would only say that its success comes through analyzing many data points.
  • [quote] IBM’s MYCA (My Career Advisor) AI virtual assistant uses Watson to help employees identify where they need to increase their skills. Its companion, Blue Match technology, serves up job openings to employees based on their AI-inferred skills data (employees opt into the service). Rometty said some of the 27 percent of IBM workers who received a new job or promotion in 2018 were assisted by Blue Match.
  • [quote] IBM employees no longer need to decipher which programs will help them upskill; its AI suggests to each employee what they should be learning in order to get ahead in their career.

I see what IBM is doing today as a natural progression of things. Using big data, to resolve retention issues has been in the works for some time. A few years ago, in 2014, Workday acquired a startup called – Identified which was doing some remarkable work with its predictive algorithms. I don’t know to what extent Workday has integrated and leveraged Identified’s technology today but, I can tell you what it was capable of back then.

  • Mohammad Sabah was Identified’s head of data science. He was previously at Netflix where he worked on their movie recommendation algorithm. In 2014, Bloomberg quoted Sabah when he compared his Netflix work with Identified. Sabah said, “The domain is so different, but the techniques and the algorithms and the tools are general.”
  • That same Bloomberg article goes on to say, [quote] “By combining company data on employee hiring, promotions, relocations, compensation, employee satisfaction surveys, managerial decisions and job cuts with public data sets like the standard of living in the region and workforce demand for certain skills, Workday can spot patterns.”
  • And even deeper in that article it cites how businesses can input decades of historical staff data to inform and customize the system’s recommendations. The system learns over time how each company works and, like an experienced HR employee, develops a gut feeling for which people the company needs to keep a closer eye on.

If IBM represents the state of the art and Workday the preceding evolutionary step then, Google would have to be the mother of the movement of using big data to predict employee departures. As far back as 2009, Google had developed a workforce prediction algorithm which tracked employees who were about to jump ship. The Wall Street Journal reported on the tech back then and reported that Google examined data from employee reviews and promotion and pay histories to try to identify which of its 20,000 employees were most likely to leave the California-based company. Laszlo Bock, who runs human resources for Google, told the Journal the algorithm helps the company “get inside people’s heads even before they know they might leave.”

When I mentioned what IBM was doing today with their magic algorithms, I could almost see your surprise, now imagine the shock the HR world had in 2009. Just for giggles, let me share a few reactions from people discussing Google’s Workforce Prediction Algorithm back then and see if they still resonate today.

  • REAL predictive analytics finally gets a showing! So many people are using the term predictive analytics about things which are really just metrics and reporting…it’s a wonderful thing to see real PA at least being thought about.
  • Google searches are great, but they don’t get everything…and if management at Google starts to think that they do, there is a serious risk of complacency and so further loss of focus on the value of human management. 
  • If we predict individual human behavior, what risks do we open up? Lawsuits, even?  What if we get it wrong about Sally and don’t promote her because the algorithm said she’s likely to leave?  Sure, we already do that in management heads, but what’s the legal situation once it comes from an algorithm?
  • Predicting how Individuals will perform is already an accepted and proven fact today in the US. The US FICO score is a predicted score of an individual’s credit worthiness and is used in our everyday life. The facts show that people who defaulted on loans in this housing crash, were people that had a FICO score that should have prevented them from getting a loan in the first place. Talk about a self fulling prophecy.
  • For the workforce, your bosses boss or even your boss’s boss’s boss has final say on what raise you get, bonus, promotion, etc. Is their intuition good enough to make the right decisions for you as an individual they may only know from a few meetings or passing in the hall? Predictive Analytics in the workforce will be able to provide them with the facts and the impacts of the decision they are about to make.

I think using big data to inform our decisions is a good thing. However, combining human judgement with big data insights, is the greater thing. Machines are our helpers, they augment our abilities and have the capacity to transform us all into Tony Stark. If we relax our input and rely solely on the decision making capacities of a machine then, that’s when the terminators come. At least, I think so. What do you think? Leave a comment on my blog or wherever you are listening to this podcast. I want to know what you think.

If you love what you heard, hate what you heard or, don’t know what you just heard, I want to know about it. You can leave a comment concerning this podcast on my website at www.JimStroud.com. In addition to finding source material and related information for this podcast episode, you’ll find other goodies that I hope will make you smile. And if you have not already, please subscribe to my website. Your continued support keeps  this podcast train chugging down the track. Whoot-whoot, whoot-whoot, whoot-whoot…

Links related to this podcast:

IBM AI can predict with 95 percent accuracy which employees will quit 

Workday Predicts When Employees Will Quit – Business Insider 

Google gets mathematical on staff ‘brain drain’ – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) 

Google workforce prediction algorithm? | Strategic Workforce Planning 

(259) IBM’s Ginni Rometty: AI will change 100 percent of jobs – YouTube 

.

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► “(FREE) Lo Fi Type Beat – ” Autumn Jazz “”
http://j.mp/2IyLo8X

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https://soundcloud.com/lakeyinspired Original upload HERE – https://soundcloud.com/lakeyinspired/… Official “LAKEY INSPIRED” YouTube Channel HERE – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOmy… License for commercial use: Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported “Share Alike” (CC BY-SA 3.0) License. Full License HERE – https://creativecommons.org/licenses/… Music promoted by NCM https://goo.gl/fh3rEJ

Is it right to profit on prison labor?

23 | When you think of prisoners working inside of a jail, what comes to mind? Prisoners cooking, mopping floors, folding clothes…? Yes, all of those are certainly true and now you can add one more – training artificial intelligence algorithms. In this episode, I talk about the pros and cons (pun intended) of prison labor.


Listen to this podcast on Anchor.fm

Subscribe to this podcast via your favorite podcast platform!

About the host:

Over the past decade, Jim Stroud has built an expertise in sourcing and recruiting strategy, public speaking, lead generation, video production, podcasting, online research, competitive intelligence, online community management and training. He has consulted for such companies as Microsoft, Google, MCI, Siemens, Bernard Hodes Group and a host of startup companies. During his tenure with Randstad Sourceright, he alleviated the recruitment headaches of their clients worldwide as their Global Head of Sourcing and Recruiting Strategy.  He now serves ClickIQ as its VP, Product Evangelist.

PODCAST TRANSCRIPT

When you think of prisoners working inside of a jail, what comes to mind? Prisoners cooking, mopping floors, folding clothes…? Yes, all of those are certainly true and now you can add one more – training artificial intelligence algorithms. I’ll explain, after this.


I have a question for Talent Acquisition Managers, how many jobs do you advertise a year? 100? 500? 10,000 or more? If so, let me give you a tip on how to maximize your job adverting budget. And that tip is, ClickIQ.

ClickIQ’s automated job advertising platform manages, tracks and optimizes the performance of your job advertising in real time, focusing your money where it’s needed most to reach both active and passive job seekers across Indeed, Google, Facebook, Instagram and an extensive network of job boards.

So, talent acquisition managers, if you want to make sure you are getting the most value out of your job advertising budget, I highly suggest you check out ClickIq online at www.clickiq.us. Or, you can email me directly. My email is jim at-click-dot-us

That’s right! I was so impressed by the technology behind ClickIQ that I joined the company. I think you will be impressed as well.Again, on the web – www.clickiq.us or email me directly jim at-click-dot-us.

You’ll be glad you did.

The startup company Vainu is building a comprehensive database of companies around the world that helps businesses find contractors to work with. To accomplish that aim, they need a lot of data analyzed and classified and that’s where prison labor comes in. Prisoners read through hundreds of thousands of business articles scraped from the internet and label whether, for example, an article is about Apple the tech company or a fruit company that has “apple” in the name. This labeled data is then used to train an algorithm that manages the database.

The partnership between Vainu and 2 prisons, one in Helsinki and one in Turku, was a happy accident. Tuomas Rasila, the founder of Vainu, was brainstorming ways to process more data for his AI when the thought occurred to him that he could use prison labor. The Vainu offices happen to be in the same building as the headquarters of the Criminal Sanctions Agency (CSA), the government agency that oversees Finnish prisons.

Here’s a quote from The Verge and their story, “Inmates in Finland are training AI as part of prison labor.”

Officials at the agency were excited to partner, according to Rasila, especially because the new jobs don’t require anything other than a laptop. “There’s no risk for violence,” he says, adding that when it comes to other forms of prison labor, like metalsmithing, access to tools that can be turned into makeshift weapons can make a prison workspace “a dangerous place.” Rasila estimates that, currently, a little less than 100 prisoners are working on Vainu’s project for a few hours a day.

Right now, Vainu and the CSA have an annual contract based on the number of tasks. The Vainu team hopes to expand elsewhere in Finland, and other countries where it can be hard to find people willing to do this type of work in local languages. To them, it’s a win-win situation. One motivation for the inmates is to make money, of course, but “a selling point of this was that the demand for training AI is actually increasing significantly, globally,” Rasila says.

This idea of using prison labor for profit is highly controversial. Some say that prisoners are exploited; most making anywhere between $0.00 – $2.00 hourly. In some cases, time is taken off of their sentence in exchange for their labor. Depending on who you ask, this is a good thing; while to others, its modern slavery. I can’t think of a better case study to see both sides than the fashion industry.

Take the case of Carcel, a Danish brand founded in 2016 specifically to provide incarcerated women with jobs, training and, possibly, a crime-free future. On any given day, prisoners at a women’s penitentiary center in Peru, serving long sentences predominantly for drug-related crimes as well as murder, human trafficking and robbery are weaving and knitting luxurious alpaca wool sweaters, deep-pile roll-necks and silky-soft track pants, destined to be sold to wealthy shoppers. More than two years into the program, both Carcel’s founders and the Peruvian prison authorities say the project has been a measurable success. However, social media had a different view.

Carcel introduced a new line of silk garments produced from women’s jails in Thailand. On Twitter, a company spokesman said, “We are proud of the work we do and the women we employ. We work in prisons to give women the opportunity to earn and provide for their families. We believe in fair and equal employment rights inside as well as outside of prison, which means that employment is chosen freely, living wages are paid and no discrimination is practices. These conditions have to be in place for us to work with any prison.”

One twitter response was “Your “sustainable business model” includes the need for women to be in prisons.”

Another, “If you make ANY profit, that is money from slavery.”

Another, “You “work in prisons” (actually the prisoners work) because it means labor is cheap and controllable. This gives you greater profit margins for your over-priced rags.”

Another, “You’re going straight to hell”

And the comments continued to slip even lower than that.

Carcel is not the only company selling clothes made by inmates. There is Prison Blues in the USA and Pieta, which like Carcel, is in Peru. All claim they can create a profitable and sustainable business model while also providing new jobs and opportunities for prisoners. In the case of Pieta, inmates don’t just make the clothes, they also contribute to the designs, act as models for advertising campaigns and are paid a portion of the sale price for each unit of clothing they produce. Upon release, former inmates can continue working with Pietà, or seek jobs at other companies with Pietà’s recommendation and support.

So is using prison labor exploitive or, is it a tool for rehabilitation? I wanted to know what a prisoner who has worked at a jail had to say, just for some insight from their perspective. I did some research and found this article from the Los Angeles Times called, “Think prison labor is a form of slavery? Think again.”

Here’s are some quotes from a former prisoner.

My prison job made me feel like I was fulfilling my existential duty to society: I was contributing. It doesn’t surprise me that prison work assignments are credited with reducing recidivism. Any change for good that happened within me while I was incarcerated grew out of my job. If I feel that way about my time making chicken a la king, an inmate who’s saving lives fighting fires must feel it 10 times over.

Some call prison labor the new Jim Crow because of the outsized number of black and brown inmates in U.S. prisons. It’s a facile charge, and worse, it may be keeping progressive companies away from prison projects. Socially conscious businesses and agencies are likely to pay inmates higher wages, train them for better jobs and do more to prepare them for life after prison — if those companies aren’t scared away by vociferous critics of prison labor.

Whole Foods used to sell goat cheese made from milk produced on a prison farm in Colorado. “We felt supporting suppliers who found a way to be part of paid, rehabilitative work being done by inmates would help people get back on their feet and eventually become contributing members of society,” a company spokesman said. Whole Foods ended the program in 2015, after consumer protests I can only assume came from people who’ve never been incarcerated. Anyone who’s done time wouldn’t deny a fellow prisoner that kind of lifeline.

I like the idea of prisoners learning a skill and working as it supports the notion that once they are released, they will not return to a life of crime but become a productive member of society. At least, that’s what I think. I want to hear what you have to say. Leave a comment?

If you love what you heard, hate what you heard or, don’t know what you just heard, I want to know about it. You can leave a comment concerning this podcast on my website at www.JimStroud.com. In addition to finding source material and related information for this podcast episode, you’ll find other goodies that I hope will make you smile. And if you have not already, please subscribe to my website. Your continued support keeps  this podcast train chugging down the track. Whoot-whoot, whoot-whoot, whoot-whoot…

Links related to this podcast:

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Would you work for a machine?

22 | Would you work for a machine? Some people are working for a machine right now, although they may not be aware of it. Could you be one of them? In this episode, I discuss humans and machines working together and its effect on the future of work.


Click here to listen to this on Anchor.fm

Subscribe to this podcast via your favorite podcast platform!

About the host:

Over the past decade, Jim Stroud has built an expertise in sourcing and recruiting strategy, public speaking, lead generation, video production, podcasting, online research, competitive intelligence, online community management and training. He has consulted for such companies as Microsoft, Google, MCI, Siemens, Bernard Hodes Group and a host of startup companies. During his tenure with Randstad Sourceright, he alleviated the recruitment headaches of their clients worldwide as their Global Head of Sourcing and Recruiting Strategy.  He now serves ClickIQ as its VP, Product Evangelist.

PODCAST TRANSCRIPT

Would you work for a machine? Some people are working for a machine right now, although they may not be aware of it. Could you be one of them? I discuss humans and machines working together and its effect on the future of work; right after this message.

I have a question for Talent Acquisition Managers, how many jobs do you advertise a year? 100? 500? 10,000 or more? If so, let me give you a tip on how to maximize your job adverting budget. And that tip is, ClickIQ.

ClickIQ’s automated job advertising platform manages, tracks and optimizes the performance of your job advertising in real time, focusing your money where it’s needed most to reach both active and passive job seekers across Indeed, Google, Facebook, Instagram and an extensive network of job boards.

So, talent acquisition managers, if you want to make sure you are getting the most value out of your job advertising budget, I highly suggest you check out ClickIq online at www.clickiq.us. Or, you can email me directly. My email is jim at-click-dot-us

That’s right! I was so impressed by the technology behind ClickIQ that I joined the company. I think you will be impressed as well. Again, on the web – www.clickiq.us or email me directly jim at-click-dot-us.

You’ll be glad you did.

Do you know what algorithmic management is? According to the Data and Society Research Institute, “Algorithmic management is a diverse set of technological tools and techniques to remotely manage workforces, relying on data collection and surveillance of workers to enable automated or semi-automated decision-making.” Translation: Instead of working for the man, you are working for the machine.

  • Services like Uber and Lyft exert what some call “continuous, soft surveillance” through data collection of drivers’ behaviors, which is fed into automated performance reports. While drivers have the freedom to log in or log out of work at will, once they’re online, their activities on the platform are heavily monitored. For instance, drivers’ movements are tracked using GPS location, and other behaviors such as acceleration, working hours, and braking habits are monitored through their phones. All of that data is not only used to evaluate drivers but also to influence their behavior. For example, Uber’s “surge pricing” system. At certain times, in certain locations, both riders and drivers receive notification that rides will be provided at higher rates, thus nudging more drivers to be available in a high-demand location. Such a system reveals how algorithms can cause disaggregated work forces, supposedly independent and flexible, to behave in ways that are good for the company as a whole. [Source: Data and Society]
  • In 2016, UPS drivers began receiving driving directives from ORION (On-Road Integrated Optimization and Navigation), an algorithm developed internally by UPS to optimize delivery routes by finding the most time-and cost-effective trip routes for a delivery. The company claims the algorithm has reduced unnecessary delivery truck travel by 100 million miles annually. [Source: Data and Society]
  • Percolata is a company that installs sensors in shops that measure the volume and type of customers flowing in and out, combines that with data on the amount of sales per employee, and calculates what it describes as the “true productivity” of a shop worker: a measure it calls “shopper yield”, or sales divided by traffic. Percolata then gives management a list of employees ranked from lowest to highest by shopper yield. Its algorithm builds profiles on each employee — when do they perform well? When do they perform badly? It learns whether some people do better when paired with certain colleagues, and worse when paired with others. It uses weather, online traffic and other signals to forecast customer traffic in advance. Then it creates a schedule with the optimal mix of workers to maximise sales for every 15-minute slot of the day. Managers press a button and the schedule publishes to employees’ personal smartphones. People with the highest shopper yields are usually given more hours. [Source: Financial Times]

There has been a lot of concern about robots taking jobs away. If you were to do a search engine search on “robots verses whatever your job title is” no doubt, you would see lots and lots and lots of articles detailing how the machines were taken over, stealing jobs away and basically destroying your life. With respect, any alarms of progress will not stymie progress. In an earlier century, people protested the steam engine, the cotton gin, the spinning jenny because the new technology threated their way of life. Long story short, civilization advanced and – spoiler alert, it will continue to do so. And with the case of robots and automation, that’s not a bad thing.

  • Daniela Rus is the, director of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab. She was speaking at a conference on the future of work and had this to say.
  • And this from CNN Business, Unbabel, a Lisbon-based startup, combines AI technology with human expertise to perfect language translation. Here’s a clip
  • And one more, this time from CNBC.  They interview Tom Doris of Liquidnet who says artificial intelligence should be seen as a tool for human decision makers in investments, and should not be seen as an automated process.

So, should we all relax about the machines taking over the workplace and just, get used to it? Well, yes, as long as human beings are part of the process.  The moment you remove people from the decision- making process and put your trust solely in machines and algorithms; then you have legitimate cause to be concerned about the future of work.  At least, I think so. What do you think? Leave a comment, I want to know.

If you love what you heard, hate what you heard or, don’t know what you just heard, I want to know about it. You can leave a comment concerning this podcast on my website at www.JimStroud.com. In addition to finding source material and related information for this podcast episode, you’ll find other goodies that I hope will make you smile. And if you have not already, please subscribe to my website. Your continued support keeps  this podcast train chugging down the track. Whoot-whoot, whoot-whoot, whoot-whoot…

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