Falon Fatemi thinks AI, the topic dominating business conversations these days, has a new and even more important meaning.
“We talk about artificial intelligence,” she said. “I think we are entering the era of artificial intuition.”
Fatemi is a Silicon Valley luminary and Google veteran who co-founded Fireside, an interactive Web3 streaming platform, with Mark Cuban. She was the guest on WorkProud CEO Michael Levy’s monthly webinar on September 26 to talk about AI – and in particular, its effect on human resources and maximizing workplace productivity.
“AI is no longer a feature, it’s become a core requirement,” she said, adding,
“I think we fear what we don’t understand.”
To help that understanding, the entire hour-long webinar is available here. Here are some of the highlights of a timely, fascinating discussion:
Fatemi says we’re still in the “initial phase” of AI, but businesses had better be paying attention. “This is really history in the making, and an opportunity to make sure we’re thinking about it in the right way,” she said. “At the end of the day, AI is absolutely accelerating the pace of innovation, but it’s also driving the decline of businesses that just can’t keep up.”
Don’t think of AI as a competitor that’s replacing humans in the workplace, she says.
“I understand there’s fear that it might take away jobs,” Fatemi said. “This technology isn’t good enough that it can do your job. “But it’s definitely a copilot opportunity. It actually enhances your productivity so you can do more.”
That AI copilot can already save time in many ways: proofreading, suggesting how you want to complete a sentence, or even drafting articles and email responses. But technologies are racing to create what Fatemi calls “AI’s intelligent system, that learns from the data or the interactions that it’s analyzing without much human intervention.
“These technologies are figuring out the patterns from the data and driving what I like to call intuitive prediction,” she said. Already today, “We’re seeing that AI is able to take a data set and generate insights from it right away, which then helps us with our day-to-day decision making.”
What kind of data? To manage the workplace and nurture employee satisfaction, Fatemi says, that can be everything from employee skills, personal details, career advancement and salary tracking to how competitors are approaching similar situations.
“Our data today is spread across many different platforms, both public and private,” she said. “Being able to create one single understanding of who people are, what they care about, and mapping that together in one place…you can start to understand the attributes of each individual, and you can start to make both implicit and explicit connections. You start to add that to the AI brain, and from there you can start to generate predictions and find new potential relationships and connections that can be made.”
Those insights can help recruit new employees. “It will tell you which of your candidates is going to be your next employee, or who’s going to become your next great employee,” Fatemi said. By spotting a set of skills that your company might be lacking, she added, “You can have a system that generates a job post for you right away.”
For employees already on board, Fatemi said, a company can “leverage AI to proactively rank who’s most at risk of attrition and then be able to develop and execute retention strategy.”
If AI can spot people who haven’t been promoted recently, whose productivity seems to be lagging, need upgraded skills, among other retention factors, “That might prompt you to have a conversation with a high-valued employee,” she said.
AI, Fatemi said, is “impacting the entire lifecycle of talent management.”
And that makes it worth the investment.
“The cost of employee turnover is massive, she said. “Not just cost of recruiting, replacing, and forfeiting investment in an employee leaving. You lose clients, industry knowledge, competitive advantage, and it impacts your culture.”
Fatemi says that collecting data and implementing AI applications are beyond the scope of many smaller and midsize companies.
“You’re going to want to be leveraging companies like WorkProud that help you capture this information as early as possible,” she said. “You’ll be able to get these insights that are so critical to your business. I really recommend starting to evaluate third party solutions.”
Fatemi cautions, however, that when using a third party, companies need to safeguard their data.
“You need to protect your proprietary data,” she said. “Make sure they don’t take your proprietary data and use it to improve their models and technologies.”
But while picking the right AI vendor is crucial, Fatemi says, it all comes back to data.
“You take all this data, you put it together, you understand the relationships…and now you’re able to start to predict new connections and relationships with a level of confidence,” she said. “That’s really the power of where this technology is going: putting the right information in front of you at the right time, in the right context, in whatever application you’re in.”
And that, Fatemi says, is the bottom line: “At the end of the day, what does this technology do? It helps you see into the future and you’ll make much better decisions.”
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