IBM deploys AI in talent retention bid (The Week in AI)

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Technology giant IBM, which reportedly receives up to 8,000 job applications a day, has uncovered a method of discovering whether employees are seeking to leave the firm accurately using AI. While CEO Ginni Rometty was quite coded in explaining how this operates, she was adamant that success of the programme was proven given the scale upon which it has been deployed. IBM’s predictive attrition technology alerts managers to engage with employees and address concerns before they may make a decision on leaving.

The AI has so far reportedly saved IBM nearly $300 million in retention costs, which according to Ms Rometty also believes AI could reduce companies’ human resources operations.

Questions might be raised among the IBM labour pool, however, about what the “many data points” used by the system entail. It all sounds quite benign, but could businesses use it to weed out employees they don’t see as committed? Does it constitute an invasion of privacy and “monitoring” of employees which in several jurisdictions and contexts can be illegal even on company issued IT equipment? As ever, the promise of the technology is also accompanied with ethical questions and reputational issues.

News in Brief:

Around Whitehall:

Four leading-edge demonstrators to jumpstart energy revolution

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has announced four smart energy systems demonstrator projects across the UK in efforts to improve energy innovation together with providing cheaper, cleaner energy for users. The Energy Superhub Oxford, which is one of the four projects being supported by the University of Oxford will use cloud hosted software and AI powered software to forecast energy demand and management of battery degradation in social housing.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/four-leading-edge-demonstrators-to-jumpstart-energy-revolution

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