humans, ai, automation, artificial intelligence, AI recruiting, AI human resources,

The Humans Behind the Curtain of AI

Scroll down to read more!

The Humans Behind the Curtain of AI

Scroll down to read more!
humans, ai, automation, artificial intelligence, AI recruiting, AI human resources,

Table of Contents

Most of us are familiar with the story of the Wizard of Oz. It is the story of a great and powerful wizard who saves a city, and provides hope to a girl and her companions. They were awed by the wizard until they find out (spoiler alert) that he is nothing but an carnival magician who operates some machinery from behind a curtain. We are in just that stage with AI, or artificial intelligence. We are awed by the algorithms, only to find out that there are actual humans performing much of that work.

What Is Behind the Curtain?

In an article in the Harvard Business Review, writers Mary L. Gray and Siddharth Suri state that “companies selling the magical speed, omnipotence, and neutrality of artificial intelligence (AI) often can’t make good on their promises without keeping people in the loop, often working invisibly in the background.” They continue:

“Whether it is Facebook’s trending topics; Amazon’s delivery of Prime orders via Alexa; or the many instant responses of bots we now receive in response to consumer activity or complaint, tasks advertised as AI-driven involve humans, working at computer screens, paid to respond to queries and requests sent to them through application programming interfaces (APIs) of crowdwork systems.”

These humans are housewives in India sitting at their computers or editorial boards at Facebook deciding what is trending there is a façade of technology that many people don’t realize. We “ooh” and “ah” at Alexa’s ability to answer questions without really knowing that humans produced that answer. They authors say “This blend of AI and humans, who follow through when the AI falls short, isn’t going away anytime soon.”

The Paradox of Automation’s Last Mile

The paradox of automation’s last mile is that it keeps destroying and having to create new jobs to cover when AI falls short. According to Gray and Suri:

“By 2033, economists predict that tech innovation could convert 30% of today’s full-time occupations into augmented services completed “on demand” through a mix of automation and human labor. In short, AI will eliminate some work as it opens up opportunities for redefining what work humans do best. These AI-assisted augmented services, delivered by people quietly working in concert with bots, are poised to enhance our daily productivity but they also introduce new social challenges.”

The authors say that we need to really think about the humans in the AI loop. Spread across the globe, performing contract work often for minimum pay, they are the ones that are determining what you may or may not find out when you ask a question. There is an old saying about computers that applies to AI as well; “Garbage in, garbage out.” The authors say they need training and better pay. They call for accountability in how workers are treated. We need to know who is producing out information as much as we need to know what goes into our food.

There is much more to this discussion and I encourage you to read The Humans Working Behind the AI Curtain.

Did you like this post? Share it!

One Comment

  1. I was at a meetup last night in Silicon Valley listening to the Lead Engineer of WeChat’s AI… besides the fact that I felt like I was back in college in Calculus… somewhere I am sure I was never meant to be, I learned that even WeChat with 800,000 Monthly Active Users, still has to have a human review team for their AI.

    It makes sense. If you can’t get predictive success rations high enough, a human has to step in and train the ai engine.

    This is just another reason that AI in HR is going to be a long road. It’s not going to pass Risk and Compliance anytime quickly, with HR legal questions.

    Our job search chat bot, GoBe- The Job bot, (http://m.me/gobebot) uses some AI, but not much yet.

Comments are closed.

A Word From Our Sponsors

Ads help make Workology resources free for everyone. We respect your privacy. To see our Privacy Policy click here.

Recommended Posts

Sanjay Sathé, Founder & CEO of SucceedSmart, is no stranger to disrupting established industries.

Q&A With Sanjay Sathé, Founder & CEO of SucceedSmart

This interview is part of a series on Workology that features an HR Technology company, its founder and its features. For this post, we’re...

supporting caregivers: the sandwich generation at work

Supporting Caregivers: The ‘Sandwich Generation’ at Work

I’ve been told my whole life to enjoy being young and to grow old gracefully. To enjoy and soak in every moment, especially the...

Recruiting Reimagined: How Specialized Software Strengthens Hiring in 2024

Explore how specialized software is transforming recruitment strategies in 2024. We discuss the benefits of innovative tools for hiring....

How to Reduce Stress at Work (and Life) with Meditation

We can’t always limit stress or the amount of it in our lives, but we can arm ourselves with resources and tools to help...
Best HR Certification prep books

Best HR Certification Prep Books for SHRM and HRCI

Looking for additional reading to support your study prep for HRCI or SHRM? We've got a comprehensive list for you right here....
Your Global HR Certification: A Professional's Guide

Your Global HR Certification: A Professional’s Guide

Elevate your HR career with our guide to Global HR Certification. Explore benefits, prep tips, and vital resources for exam success!...

Resources for Session Attendees of Digitizing Talent

Resources for conference session attendees of Digitizing Talent: Creative Strategies for the Digital Recruiting Age....

Ways to Set up Self-Paced Studies in Higher Education

In the world of higher education, the winds of change are blowing. More than ever, students are looking for learning options that fit their...

Checkout Our Products

Ads help make Workology resources free for everyone. We respect your privacy. To see our Privacy Policy click here.

More From Workology

HR Certification Podcast Episode 9: 2024 Changes to HRCI and SHRM Exams

In this episode of the HR Certification Podcast, we are reviewing the latest changes in SHRM and HRCI exams.

Ways to Set up Self-Paced Studies in Higher Education

Click on read more to open this post on our blog.

Resources for Session Attendees of Digitizing Talent

Resources for conference session attendees of Digitizing Talent: Creative Strategies for the Digital Recruiting Age.
Your Global HR Certification: A Professional's Guide

Your Global HR Certification: A Professional’s Guide

Elevate your HR career with our guide to Global HR Certification. Explore benefits, prep tips, and vital resources for exam success!