Technologists and social historians continue to speculate about the Information Age. Key questions include when it might end, and what might replace it. One of the most important though, is about where it is heading.
For some, there is a fascination with artificial intelligence (AI). The ultimate goal of computer technology seems to be to achieve true artificial intelligence. For RecTech and recruitment, this conjures up a sci-fi vision of an industry where robot recruiters, either as software or as physical automatons, can actually replace human recruiters by performing the search and selection process, including interviewing, negotiating pay rates and benefits, and making hires. But how far off is that vision?
There has been a massive hype about self-driving vehicles. However, well publicised accidents and regulatory standards are just some of the factors that have caused leading players in developing the technology to suggest we should lower our ultimate expectations and increase the timeframe over which we are likely to see the emergence of practical automated vehicles.
AI is an extension of machine learning (ML). ML is the process by which large amounts of data are crunched to identify patterns. These identify trends or other statistical phenomena (Business Intelligence or BI) that allow humans who manage companies to draw conclusions and make decisions. However, in true AI, it is not a human that draws conclusions and makes decisions. It is the robot; it takes the ML data and learns from it.
To date, what most people would expect of a machine that can make complex decisions, such as a car driving around, autonomously navigating the built and natural environment without causing damage or harm, is termed artificial general intelligence (AGI).
Such a machine would be able to make decisions in real time to negotiate the rules of the road, the randomness of other vehicular and pedestrian traffic, and so on. For many of us this is what we think of when the term ‘self-driving car’ is mentioned.
However, the slow progress in developing artificial general intelligence is something of a barrier. The current level of development for roadworthy autonomous vehicles is only at the stage where humans need to be prepared to take control immediately should the machine encounter a situation where it decides to hand control back to the person sitting in the driving seat.
When it comes to robot recruiters, the slow progress in developing AGI means that robot recruiters that are able to perform the recruitment tasks and processes that humans carry out remain some way off. And we might also ask whether we buy into that idea, and do we actually want to see it, anyway? Some argue that we may never see them, because not only does it challenge us ethically it is quite probably a technical challenge too far.
Philosophically, AGI with further enhancement to create conscious, sentient, self-aware robots (recruiters or otherwise!) is part of an unwelcome future dystopian narrative, where the machines are running the show. However, it is humans that need to be the masters of machines, not the other way round.
Caspian is the ETZ recruitment business intelligence platform that ensures human recruiters assert mastery over data. The Caspian platform uses elements of ML to enable the analysis of complex sets of data. Caspian takes your data from ETZ, and the other applications you use to run your agency, and extracts intelligence.
With Caspian, recruiters don’t have to wait for tomorrow to get the latest in RecTech, it is here now. With ETZ, software machines do the things to which they are best suited. And through that, humans that run the recruitment back office and have responsibility for managing an agency’s overall business are freed to excel at the things for which humans are best adapted… so there!
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