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Redefining work by harnessing AI and automation

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CHROs from top organizations embrace the power of AI

According to Nickle LaMoreaux, the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) at IBM, the role of AI and automation is expanding beyond their status as mere technologies. They are now seen as defining platforms and transformative tools that organisations should embrace. LaMoreaux compared AI to the internet, stating that just as organisations had to adopt the internet to survive, AI is becoming a defining platform rather than just another technology.

LaMoreaux expressed these views during a recent CHRO Roundtable Discussion on Work, reimagined: Unlock new levels of productivity with AI and automation, organised by IBM and HRM Asia. The event brought together CHROs from top organisations in Singapore to share strategies on leveraging AI and automation to unlock productivity.

During the discussion, LaMoreaux, along with other IBM executives, highlighted examples of AI and automation applications already in use at IBM. LaMoreaux explained that IBM currently employs 280 different AI and automation applications in HR, including benefits and payroll reconciliation, automated bots, and an AI-enabled chatbot as the first line of interaction for employees.

When addressing concerns about user experiences and ethical AI use, LaMoreaux stressed the importance of establishing clear policies and principles around AI implementation, particularly in HR. She emphasised the need for a pragmatic approach to technology initiatives that effectively work while also taking responsibility for protecting employee data.

Neetha Nair, CHRO at Prudential, added that while AI and automation can drive workplace transformation, human value-add remains indispensable. Humans possess the ability to interpret data and extract actionable insights, which is crucial for leveraging AI-driven information in strategic decision-making. Nair emphasised that organisations need to undergo a mindset change to fully adapt to the evolving technology landscape.

Lillian Yeo, Deputy CHRO of Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH), shared her organisation’s experiences in the digital transformation journey during the discussion. Yeo highlighted the importance of considering HR, first-line managers, and staff perspectives when implementing digital workplace or technology initiatives. Taking a holistic approach ensures effective communication, empowers managers, and supports employee well-being.

The roundtable also explored how AI and automation can enhance the employee experience throughout the talent lifecycle. LaMoreaux envisioned a future where collaboration between AI and automation eliminates the distinction between the two. She described an AI journey with different stages of development, from chatbots providing answers to customising responses based on personal information. The ultimate stage is where AI actively performs tasks and transactions on behalf of users, eliminating the need for manual input.

In summary, the CHRO Roundtable Discussion highlighted the growing role of AI and automation as transformative tools for organisations. IBM and other participants emphasised the need for clear policies, human value-add, and holistic approaches to maximise the benefits of AI and automation in the workplace.

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