Your HR Rep is an AI Robot, Deal With It


It seems innocuous enough right now, but, in time, could the move into the HR department by Artificial Intelligence go beyond basic questions and new employee orientation?

A new tech startup called Spoke enables companies to use a narrowly-focused AI program to help orient new employees without taking up the time of HR personnel.  Who knows, though, if someday the HR person might be an AI robot like Sophia.

In other words, Toby of the show “The Office” would be replaced by Sophia, the Saudi citizen robot
I for one welcome my robot overlords (just in case).


Artificial Intelligence Might Soon Invade Your HR Department, Thanks to These 3 Ex-Googlers

When the co-founders of Appurify sold their app development company to Google and started working for the search giant in 2014, they were impressed with the company’s culture. They were also surprised to find that Google faced a lot of the same problems as other companies when it came to onboarding new employees.

“They obviously have a good internal search feature,” says co-founder Jay Srinivasan, “but we still spent so much time looking for information, so much time looking for services. We saw firsthand how hard it was for new employees to ramp up.”

Cue the aha! moment for Srinivasan and fellow co-founders David Kaneda and Pratyus Patnaik. After two years at Google, the trio set off to start their own venture.

The result is Spoke, a startup that uses artificial intelligence to try to make employees’ lives easier. The San Francisco-based company’s software learns information about the company and answers workers’ inquiries across various channels via a chatbot. Launching in March, Spoke’s platform promises to make life easier for HR departments, IT workers, and office managers everywhere. It’s the newest entrant into a field of workplace chatbots, a budding corner of A.I. that will soon count Slack among its competitors.

“The approach we wanted to take,” Srinivasan says, “was, how do we build a platform or tool that makes it easier for organizations to manage and respond to internal workplace requests?” For new employees, that could mean a searchable home for tax forms and employee handbooks. For the whole staff, it could mean a bot that knows everything from the guest Wi-Fi password to how to input travel expenses to the company policy on rolling over sick days from year to year.


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Paul Gordon is the publisher and editor of iState.TV. He has published and edited newspapers, poetry magazines and online weekly magazines. He is the director of Social Cognito, an SEO/Web Marketing Company. You can reach Paul at