Covey said famously, Begin with the end in mind.
Let’s talk a bit about artificial intelligence (AI). What is the good, the bad, and the ugly?
The good is that it improves individuals’ writing abilities. Or does it? I can tell, in a second, something that AI has written. Refrain from falling for a glossy and wordy email. None of us have time to read all those flowery words. Question the person’s communication abilities writing using too much AI. However, I have used Grammarly for several years, which has taught me how to write more clearly. It does not do the writing for me.
AI software is designed to mimic human cognition or perception. We like AI to do specific tasks, such as searching large databases, and AI can often work much faster than a human.
The writers and actors are afraid of AI replacing them, and I am suspicious that AI might replace some.
Would that be so terrible? It will be a while before AI can write in the style of James Patterson, at least for now.
As AI evolves, there may be more workers, not fewer, in industries such as ours that require physical labor to do many of the tasks in the oilfield.
Technology and AI are saving time if we use them properly. I recently read an article in The Economist, and organizations here may need to be more like organizations in France. France is not known for inventions, but they know how to spread and use technology rapidly. Renault autos were modeled after Fords. We all need to work smarter, not harder.
Most of you with inventories no longer count every widget; you utilize computer programs, GPS (to track and locate assets), and scanning devices. What would we do without QR codes? Using a QR code at a job fair, a company can capture data (for instance, the number of attendees who scanned the code) and can perhaps even extrapolate the data to learn yet other insights. The data dumps into a spreadsheet, and you have saved hours.
On the other hand, old HR applicant tracking can slow you down. I want to remind my readers that you can run much smarter with a fully integrated human resource information system (HRIS). A recent visit to a client who relies on multiple systems that barely talk to each other allows human error at every step. It creates unnecessary time in hiring staff, onboarding, processing payroll, etc.
As for the bad or ugly, quite often I am reminded that we are in strange times and should be concerned about AI overall. Watching Oppenheimer or thinking about the first Gulf War gave this history student a moment of reflection. If we only knew then what we know now. The world needs to think about the consequences of our actions and be better prepared for the near future. Today’s brilliant inventors should be cautious, plan for the results, and not bury their heads in the sand, particularly for money and fame.
In 2003, William Gibson said in the December 4 Economist, The future is already here—it’s just not evenly distributed.
“Your employees are the heart of your organization.” Dr. Michele Harmon is a Human Resource professional, supporting clients in Texas and New Mexico that range in size from five to more than 3,000 employees. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org