As artificial intelligence (AI) promises to transform both the future of work and the human resources (HR) function, tech titan IBM has announced the creation of IBM Talent & Transformation, a new business to help companies and their employees flourish in the era of AI and automation.
IBM said the new business unit will help companies drive the transformation necessary to use AI to empower employees, transform workflows, eliminate bias, and build a modern workforce.
While CEOs and employees agree that AI will transform the workplace, recent IBM studies reveal that few feel prepared to take advantage of AI?s potential:
- In the next three years, as many as 120 million workers in the world’s 10 largest economies may need to be retrained or reskilled as a result of AI and intelligent automation, according to new research from IBM.
- An IBM study found that two-thirds of CEOs say AI will drive significant value in HR, yet only 11 percent of Chief Human Resource Officers report their organizations have the AI, data science, and machine learning skills needed to fulfill that potential.
- 84 percent of employed adults in the US and UK believe AI can drive competitive advantage, but more than half are not confident their companies can use AI for competitive advantage, and more than half believe that company culture will be a barrier to adoption, according to a study conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of IBM.
“As organizations grapple with the dual demands of undertaking digital transformation and reinventing their businesses and processes through the application of new technologies such as AI, automation and blockchain, the biggest barrier to progress will lie in accessing the right talent and skills,” said Mark Foster, senior vice president at IBM Global Business Services.
“IBM believes that building a workforce to compete in the era of AI is as much about culture and specialized expertise as it is about technology.”
The tech giant said that with the help of IBM Talent & Transformation, AI can be ushered into organizations with impact and responsibility and also become the catalyst for HR organizations to transform from service function to growth engine, helping companies to attract and retain a diverse and highly skilled workforce that drives and evolves with the future of their business.
IBM said its new services, AI tools, and related training initiatives take learnings from methods and technologies that IBM has applied to drive its own workforce transformation.
These services, it added, harness the power of AI personalization to guide employees in developing skills and pursuing opportunities to grow within the company. They also allow HR teams to measure flight risk for proactive retention and use bias reduction capabilities to flag bias in recruitment efforts, such as language in job descriptions.
When applied to IBM’s own HR function, the company said these services drove more than $300 million in benefits, $107 million in benefits in 2017 alone, and resulted in significantly better candidate, employee and manager satisfaction.
IBM said it has already partnered with clients to complete more than 1,000 HR transformation projects globally.
AI can complement employee skills, redefine tasks, and increase productivity, but that requires training, development and new ways of working, according to IBM.
This is why it has created IBM AI Skills Academy, a new service offering and educational program, which aims to help businesses plan, build and apply strategic AI initiatives across the enterprise like evaluating AI roles and skills, building the necessary skills, and creating an organizational structure in support of AI strategy, all while being supported by IBM?s expert resources.
The offering is aimed at business and technical professionals, from front-line managers to senior executives in areas including marketing, HR, legal, finance and operations, to enable them to find new value opportunities in their companies’ workflows. The curriculum covers areas essential to AI initiatives, including deep learning and machine learning frameworks, applying algorithms, open source technologies and data visualization, and will ensure that businesses make decisions less on ?gut? intuition and more on data-driven analytics.
To source the right talent and help current employees advance their careers, IBM Talent & Transformation works with organizations like Citizens Financial Group Inc and Ernst & Young to apply IBM Watson Talent products. Developed by experts in behavioral science, AI, and industrial-organizational psychology, the following solutions leverage analytics and the predictive power of AI:
- Watson Recruitment: Analyzes an organization’s employment history and external data sources to determine key attributes for success in any given role and then uses AI to surface the most qualified candidates without bias.
- Watson Candidate Assistant: Sifts through job-seekers’ employment and educational experience, infers skills and matches a candidate to openings that are the best fit with recommendations that might never surface with traditional applicant tracking systems.
- Watson Career Coach: Serves as a virtual coach and infers employees’ skills, interests, and eminence and provides personalized advice to lay path for career opportunities.
- Watson Talent Frameworks: Defines the competencies and skills needed for a successful talent strategy today, and future-proofs organizations for tomorrow’s workforce in ways customized to their specific industry and needs.
- Adverse Impact Analysis (AIA): Leverages Watson AI to analyze, identify and address unconscious bias across an organization’s employment history related to gender, race, age, education and previous employment.
To gain an AI advantage, companies must also change how they work, where they work, and what principles they use to guide their work.
To facilitate this change, IBM said it is introducing IBM Garage, designed to develop agile capabilities and change the way work is done. Inside the Garage — which serves as a physical instantiation of digital and AI-enabled transformation across an enterprise — IBM experts sit shoulder-to-shoulder with client employees to develop new ideas, then rapidly test, discard or advance those ideas.
In environments designed to be a break from the everyday, traditional silos and barriers are eliminated — employees are encouraged to learn by doing, fail fast and iterate often, inspiring organizational change and buy-in. The IBM Garage is a tool for executing, scaling and managing an organization’s multiple transformation initiatives with strategic purpose amid ongoing market disruption.