Friday, December 7, 2012

Robot Applicants

Welcome to Casual Friday, a time when we can let our hair down and discuss the humorous side of HR.  Please feel free to leave your comments about today’s topic at the bottom.

Robot Applicants

Allow me a few moments to consider the light and fantastic topic of robot applicants. While this post is intended in humor and jest, it could also be prophetic.  How will you, as a Human Resources professional, deal with the first time an Artificial Intelligence applies at your company?  Let's talk about this for a while.

Okay, so your inkjet printer has achieved sentience, has passed its Turing Test. and it has graduated to full Artificial Intelligence - what now?  It seems that at this point your inkjet printer ceases to be equipment and should now be considered a full time employee.  What are the costs associated with an artificial lifeform?  Let’s assume we will have to answer the following questions:

·         What salary do we offer the robot?  What would they consider competitive?
·         Do you have policies and procedures in place to handle Robotic Benefits versus Human Healthcare Benefits?
·         Another question that we need to consider is taxes/salary - What do you withhold for taxes?
·         How will you handle a robot retirement plan?
·         What about unions?  If the robots network and unionize, how will management handle a robot revolt?
·         Bias in the hiring process - is your HR staff trained to treat A.I. the same as O.I. (Original Intelligence)?
·         Harassment in the workplace?  Is putting a conscious, self-aware cell phone in your pocket considered a form of harassment?  Is putting a USB Stick into the wrong port considered sexual harassment?
·         If your robot catches a virus, is it okay for them to call out of work?

These are just a few of the questions you will want to consider in advance.  You want to ensure that your company has policies that are progressive enough that you can attract the best robotic talent, but conservative enough that the human workers do not try to overthrow the population.  Consider this quote from the auspicious Hulk Hogan, “Everybody's out there wrestling like a robot”.  It seems that the World Wrestling Federation has already taken the first steps to embracing new diversity in the workforce.  Is your company embracing diversity?  How will your company adjust to accept your first robot applicant - a replicant?

And remember all of you Human Resources professionals:  Be Human... Be a Resource...  Be a Resource for Humans.

Disclaimer:  The views expressed in this post are by the author Trevor Stasik, and do not necessarily reflect the views of any employer or any other organization. Please note, this information is based on my understanding and is only to be used for informational and educational purposes.  Do not take what I am writing as advice.  Seek your own legal counsel and/or see a tax accountant before making business or personal decisions.  The author of this post makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

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