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Chain Reactions

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Chain Reactions

  • Course: AI for HR
  • Module: Challenges
  • Lesson Type: Video
  • Lesson Duration: 3:44

Lesson Content

Over the next 2-10 year period, Artificial Intelligence along with other emerging technologies are going to come together in some remarkable ways that will have a transformative effect on our society. The most challenging aspect of this for the business world will be a series of technology-driven chain reactions that will reshape the economy quite dramatically. So let’s look at one possible scenario.

One emerging technology that gets a lot of headlines these days is driverless vehicles. They are an AI-powered technology, but they have nothing to do with HR unless you work for a car company. However, let’s say that over the next few years, Google, Tesla, Toyota, GM and many others start to sell driverless cars to the public. And as they begin to do so, Uber, Lyft, Google and others start to offer self-driving taxi services in cities around the world, an evolution of existing services.

So how does the economy and the world start to change? It’s important for you, the HR professional, to start to understand the impact this could have on your industry.

When scanning your external environment for potential trends, at first, there may not be much change. It’s a novelty. But as their numbers increase, lots of industries that relied on the status quo will start to notice a change. Gas stations start to sell less fuel as electric cars become the norm. A whole industry based on gasoline will start to take a hit as even 10 or 20 percent of drivers switch. Car insurers will have to make massive changes to their business models because driverless cars get in far fewer accidents than human drivers. Police departments around the country who depend upon citations of speeding violations, parking, and other issues will have to reconsider the purpose of their workforce. At a certain point, you might see a very different utilization of police time and energy, especially in rural counties. And once the technology exists, it won’t just be available for the consumer market. There are over 3.5 million professional drivers currently employed in the United States. Truckers, taxi drivers, limo drivers, you name it. Many people whose livelihoods are in jeopardy and are in need of training right now in anticipation of this revolution.

As AI automates those jobs, there are entire industries related to supporting them that will be impacted. From roadside truck stops and motels to garages and towing companies to insurance companies and hospitals to banks and finance. Think of all of the companies who profit, directly or indirectly off of the simple fact that cars crash. Cars need to be towed, fixed, scrapped, people too, they need to be brought to hospitals in ambulances, cared for, rehabilitated, thousands of them each year. The economic impact of life and death in cars is substantial and it could all be changed radically by driverless cars.

Changing something as simple as a car, how we get from place to place, from home to work, or how our groceries get from the farm to the store, has a profound impact on the entire economy. Something as simple as that, changing what kind of car we use, can change everything. Everyone’s job and way of life can be impacted by changing that one little thing. In many ways, we’ve already experienced shifts like this, the internet was a change on this scale. Though it may not seem like it, smartphones have done this already. All of our lives have changed significantly since 2007 when Apple released the first iPhone.

As an HR leader, you must keep your eye on the big picture issues that will affect your human workforce. There is so much noise these days, and it is easy to tunnel on one issue or one development, but try to see how they all interconnect and relate because so often, thanks to technology, these things ripple and one development in something totally unrelated to you ends up being a tsunami that can hit you if you aren’t prepared.

Michael Wilson


Michael Wilson

Michael Wilson works with small businesses to build and protect their brands online. He is an IT Generalist whose primary services include: Web Design & Development, Cybersecurity Consulting & Training,...

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