WILL AI REPLACE HR?
Have you heard of AI and programs like Chat GPT? If you have, and are like me, you may be wondering if this technology can replace your duties.
While researching for this article, I read this sentence and nothing short of Stephen King has alarmed me so much: “If you haven’t followed the GPT craze, here’s how it works, and which experiments are using it to replace humans.” I’m sorry … what? Is HAL in the building? Replace humans?
I decided to see for myself. I set up a Chat GPT account and got to work. This disclaimer popped up: “While we have safeguards in place, the system may occasionally generate incorrect or misleading information and produce offensive or biased content. It is not intended to give advice.” Fair enough. I asked it a couple of HR questions.
I asked: What is minimum wage in Nevada?
AI said: “As of September 2021, the minimum wage in Nevada is $9.75 per hour for employees who are offered qualifying health benefits, and $8.00 per hour for those who are not offered qualifying health benefits. However, starting on July 1, 2022, the minimum wage will increase to $9.50 per hour for employees who are offered qualifying health benefits, and $8.75 per hour for those who are not offered qualifying health benefits. It’s worth noting that individual counties or cities in Nevada may have their own minimum wage rates that are higher than the state minimum wage.”
If you are familiar with Nevada minimum wage, you know this is not the right answer. It got the amounts wrong. The two tiers of minimum wage are not accurate. While maybe a helpful note in other states (like California), Nevada cities and counties do not set separate minimum wages.
Then I asked another question: My employee has been late every day this week. Can I fire her?
First the disclaimer: “As an AI language model, I cannot provide legal advice, and the specific laws and regulations around employment termination vary by jurisdiction.”
The answer was lengthy and touched on some basic points, such as documentation, policy, and performance management. There was even a small mention about asking the employee if there are extenuating circumstances. The answer required reading and interpretation of the suggestions.
It reminded me of an old program, which was basically a database full of HR information. It sounded good initially, but it required the user to know what they were looking for and how to understand what they found. This initial look into how AI interprets HR and employment law feels the same way.
We have been using technology in HR for years. Automating processes in the payroll, benefits, and recruiting saves time and expense. Interpreting law and employee relations, however, requires something more. The “human” in human resources matters. Having a rote response to everything we ask will not work consistently because not all people and situations are alike.
HR professionals should keep an eye on these new technologies and utilize them where they can help make things more efficient. However, HR professionals should not rely on AI to provide answers to questions. AI might be helpful if you know what you are looking for and if you have some idea what the answer should be. If both of those things are not true, it’s better to consult with someone who can interpret the rules and engage with you on the human side of things.
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