Human Resources Automated

In a world where we have distributed workforces, what happens when we use artificial intelligence, video, virtual reality, and embedded cookies that track people to make hiring and firing decisions?

Taken to an extreme, you could envision a world where a person applied for a job, did a virtual artificial intelligence interview and worked for a company remotely.  They never would have direct human interaction with an actual personal representative of the company.  They could be based anywhere in the world.  Their “boss” might be an algorithm or a machine learning quantum computer.

Already, there are a lot of products that do various things when it comes to human resources for video interviews.  A few years ago, Dave Weiland started a company in Chicago called RIVS that does video interviewing.  Imagine if there was a machine that could read body language that watched the interview the interviewer and fed data to them.  Imagine if prior to that interview, the employer had your entire internet web/social graph and was able to compare and contrast that with the answers to questions posed to you in the interview.

What if wearable health technology devices were to transmit data to a program that synthesized it and decided if you were right for the job or not?

As you start to think about this whole process you can start to see the pros and cons.  Because we tend to fear risk before we look at opportunity, it’s a lot easier to see the cons.

I think this article in the WSJ starts to give you a picture of what could happen.

The next decade will be defined by technology.  The next decade will have some knockdown drag-out fights over privacy and personal data.  Right now, a lot of people see cryptocurrency as an answer but I think it will be fought in the legal system and precedents will be set that last for generations.  I can foresee a lot of civil disobedience that might occur because of poorly designed laws/regulations or bad precedents.

I think you can get a flavor of what could happen by reading this Supreme Court opinion from 2013.  The case is Maryland v King and the issue is whether the government can take a DNA swab of your mouth without your approval.  Justice Anton Scalia’s dissent is one for the ages and I am sure that people who vehemently disagree with me politically might find commonality in it.