AI and Digital Technologies Impacting the Workplace

Source: https://hbr.org/2022/11/research-roundup-how-technology-is-transforming-work

New digital technologies, including AI recruiting tools and industrial automation, are transforming workplaces, promising increased efficiency and productivity. However, research highlights both the benefits and risks of these technologies for the workforce.

AI’s Influence on Hiring: AI tools streamline the hiring process by sorting through resumes and conducting virtual interviews. However, AI can introduce biases. Studies show that candidates who view AI positively are more likely to complete applications, while those distrustful of AI may not. AI screening can perpetuate bias even when gendered information is removed, affecting interview callbacks.

Impact of Digital Monitoring on Employees: Employee monitoring tools, like keystroke tracking apps, have gained popularity but may negatively impact job satisfaction and increase stress levels. While monitoring doesn’t significantly affect performance, it can lead to counterproductive behaviors due to reduced responsibility.

Working with Automated Systems: People respond better to automated systems when they feel authentic, but anthropomorphizing these tools can worsen interactions. Employees prefer advice from algorithms for predictions but favor human input for making decisions. Understanding the AI’s decision-making process is crucial for acceptance.

Social and Economic Impact of Automation: Automation’s rapid growth affects macro-level trends. Areas with high automation have seen increases in drug overdose deaths, suicides, homicides, and cardiovascular mortality rates. Workplace automation can also lead to negative sentiment, such as anti-immigrant sentiment.

Changing Workforce Composition: Investment in AI and automation affects the workforce’s makeup. Firms with AI investments tend to hire highly educated workers, leading to flatter organizational structures with fewer mid-level and senior employees. Automation reduces low-wage, automatable jobs, creating more non-automatable low-wage service jobs. Job losses due to automation disproportionately affect non-Asian people of color, highlighting racial equity concerns.

As technology continues to evolve, understanding its impact on employees and organizations becomes increasingly crucial for creating sustainable and equitable workplaces.

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Matt Parks

Matt Parks

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