Roundtable insights: The impact of AI and ChatGPT on the HR industry

Author Denise Harmer
June 28, 2023

Denise Harmer, Associate Director Frazer Jones Australia, and the team in Melbourne, recently hosted a group of experienced HR Leaders to a thought-provoking and very topical discussion on AI and ChatGPT and its place within Human Resources.

Joined by our speakers Troy Gread, founder of Workvergent, and Jason Portelli, founder of Tech Pathfinder we entered into a collaborative discussion around what the impacts of AI could be on the HR industry.

In an era where Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are rapidly advancing, it is essential to separate fact from fiction.

AI is now a part of our everyday life, both at a personal level and in business

AI is rapidly becoming an essential part of how Australian organisations operate. While research suggests that Australia lags behind many other developed nations in AI uptake, at least two-thirds of Australian organisations are already using, or actively planning to use, AI systems to support a wide variety of functions.

ChatGPT is everywhere

In November 2022, OpenAI, an American AI research laboratory, launched ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence chatbot. By January 2023, it had become the fastest-growing consumer software application in history, gaining over 100 million users.

A recent survey by Fishbowl, a social network where professionals come to discuss career topics anonymously and connect with each other to have conversations about work-life, found that 43% of professionals have used AI tools, including ChatGPT, for work-related tasks. Nearly 70% of those professionals are doing so without their boss’ knowledge.

The group discussed how, far from being a daunting force, AI could be harnessed to elevate the role of HR professionals in shaping the future of work, AI’s potential in the realm of human resources, and the transformative benefits AI can bring to an organisation.

The outcome?  Far from replacing human intuition and empathy, AI offers a powerful set of tools that can empower HR professionals to make more informed decisions and can foster inclusive, thriving workplaces – tools that we were already using long before ChatGPT arrived!

Key takeaways:

  • Only 10% of corporate leaders indicate that they have an AI strategy, yet recent media reports suggest that 6% of our workforce have confirmed using AI (Emma Taylor, Group Head of People & Strategy, Findex)
  • In the absence of a policy to guide the use of AI how can we set an expectation with our workforce to know when the use of AI is acceptable or how to safely use it and that all information should be verified (Emma Taylor, Group Head of People & Strategy, Findex)

Australia’s corporate leaders play a critical role in ensuring that the AI systems used in their organisations are legally compliant, fair, fit-for-purpose, accurate and accountable

The State of AI Governance in Australia, Human Technology Institute – University of Technology Sydney, May 2023

AI and the law – it’s the ‘Wild, Wild West’ out there!

Currently, there are no Australian laws or regulations which specifically govern individuals’, businesses’, or governments’ use of AI technology. Instead, the development and use of AI are regulated primarily by technology-neutral laws of general application.

So, what actions should corporate leaders take to govern AI effectively?

The group discussed that to govern AI appropriately, corporate leaders need to invest in four areas:

  1. Capacity building and developing strategic expertise related to AI
  2. Creating a suitable AI strategy
  3. Implementing governance systems that effectively address risks associated with AI
  4. Supporting a human-centred culture regarding their use of AI

In summary, the group all agreed that Gen AI is a remarkable tool and will not replace human interaction, rather it can empower HR and simplify some of the more onerous tasks. How will it be incorporated and governed are now the key questions. In the meantime, all agree that it is important for all of us to play around with it and become familiar with what it can and can’t do!

If you are interested in participating in any future roundtable events in Melbourne, please contact Denise Harmer, or for details on all other Frazer Jones events please click here.

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