In the workplace, communication is increasingly digital—groups of people chat on Slack, write emails, text on company-issued phones and hold meetings on Zoom video that can be recorded and analyzed.
At the famously weird hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, every meeting and conversation is recorded and digitized.
This means that an AI soaking up the wrong signals from an already biased work culture could double down on its learnings and turn into an HR nightmare.Loutish AI behavior won’t reach the grotesque levels of a Bill O’Reilly or Harvey Weinstein, given that a software bot can’t exactly open its robe and demand a massage.But we’re entering an era when Siri-like conversational AI will be embedded in the workplace, listening and commenting from, say, speakers in conference rooms.Sooner or later, AI could fight back against sexual harassment in the office. In 1927, German filmmaker Fritz Lang gave us our first vision of a feminine AI, and her name was Maria. Before long, she malfunctioned, ran amok, and threatened to destroy civilization (i.e.The trend toward using AI in the workplace is only gaining momentum.Tokyo tech company Ricoh is bringing IBM Watson AI into meetings, where it listens to the conversation and reads what’s drawn on whiteboards.Put all that together and we’re going to wind up interacting with AI all around us at the office.AI will drive more and more workplace decisions—or make decisions on its own.It wouldn’t be possible to manually encode every nuance of driving a car into software.But when you equip cars with sensors and cameras that can pull in everything going on inside and around the car as a human drives, the AI can automatically learn from the driver’s billions of subtle actions.