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The AI+HI Project Speakers Share Insights Ahead of Conference

Generative artificial intelligence is on the minds of employers who want to properly execute the technology to benefit their organizations while best managing its risks.

Speakers at SHRM’s inaugural The AI+HI Project for C-suite executives and senior HR and business leaders will address those concerns, as well as discuss how AI can open up human potential. The following individuals shared their insights ahead of the March 4-6 conference in Mountain View, Calif.

Meet the Speakers

Herman Art TaylorHerman “Art” Taylor is president and CEO of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance. Under his lead, the organization introduced the Accredited Charity Seal, a symbol of trustworthiness used by national and local charities that adhere to the Better Business Bureau’s Standards for Charity Accountability. He will speak March 5 on Developing AI Use Cases: Risks, Impacts and Change Management.  
Amy BlanksonAmy Blankson is co-founder and chief evangelist for the Digital Wellness Institute and the bestselling author of The Future of Happiness: 5 Modern Strategies for Balancing Productivity and Well-Being in the Digital Era (BenBella Books, 2017). She will speak March 6 on AI and the Future of Happiness.
Neel AdhyaNeel Adhya is chief digital officer of BlackRock and has more than 25 years of experience working at the intersection of technology, platforms and people to help global organizations leverage new business models and drive growth. He will give the March 6 keynote session titled Maximizing GenAI Potential: Is Your Organization Ready?
Nichol BradfordNichol Bradford is executive-in-residence for AI+HI at SHRM. Bradford is co-founder and partner of Niremia Collective, an early-stage venture capital and advisory firm in the Silicon Valley specializing in well-being technology, and co-founder of She will give the closing general session on March 6, speaking on Unlocking Human Potential: A Case for AI Optimism and Human Catalysts.

HR Wants to Know

SHRM Online asked the speakers to share their insights on how AI is changing the world of work. Their responses have been edited for length.

How can employers leverage AI to their best advantage in the evolving workplace?

Taylor: In applying AI, focus on augmenting human capabilities rather than pure automation. Maintain transparency in its use and its impact on employees. Involve workers actively in designing and improving AI systems. Make ethical use of data a top priority and provide ways for employees to consent to use of, access and correct their data. For example, for employee training, use AI systems to personalize training and identify skills gaps. This allows for targeted, relevant training. Also, implement AI tutors or coaches that can offer additional support and guidance for employees learning new skills.

To address productivity, deploy AI tools to automate repetitive, low-value tasks so employees can focus on higher value work. Personalize employee workflows, reminders and notifications to reduce distraction and improve focus.

[SHRM resource page: Artificial Intelligence in the Workplace]

Blankson: The most effective AI solutions function akin to a pair of finely crafted glasses, providing enhanced vision and clarity without intrusively altering the natural state of affairs. AI should seamlessly integrate into existing workflows, offering insights and optimizations with minimal disruption. By acting as a facilitator rather than a disruptor, AI can enhance productivity, decision-making and innovation across various industries and sectors.

Adhya: The highest ROI [return on investment] will be in using AI to improve the customer experience. AI will likely unleash new ways of engaging with customers in more natural language and conversational ways. We know that in the past two decades, data, content and information have exploded. This makes finding insights costly and inefficient. AI will unleash new creative interfaces and experiences that make it simpler for users to engage and gain insights far more efficiently and in ways that feel more natural and, ironically, more human. 

Bradford: Employers can do this by preparing their employees to become AI catalysts— equipping employees with the skills and knowledge to identify and understand the problems that need solving, comprehend the available data, and navigate biases and resources effectively for successful AI implementation. This approach fosters AI maturity within the organization, ensuring that the workforce is not only ready to adopt AI technologies but can also innovate and drive forward AI initiatives that align with the company’s strategic goals.

Do you see any dangers of AI use that organizations need to be aware of, and if so, what steps should they take to protect their organization?

Taylor: Yes. Some are:

  • Bias and unfairness. Organizations should continuously audit their AI for fairness and ensure diverse representation in the development process.
  • Lack of transparency. Maintaining model interpretability and clear explanations of AI functionality helps build trust.
  • Overreliance. Automating too many tasks or decisions via AI can de-skill the human workforce over time if not managed judiciously. Avoid full automation in areas that require reasoning, creativity, human empathy.
  • Job disruption. Proactively analyze, monitor and mitigate disruption via job training and transition programs.
  • Data abuse. Strict data governance policies and consent procedures should be implemented. 

Organizations should take an ethical-by-design approach with AI—conduct impact assessments, implement oversight procedures, maintain human-in-the-loop checks, enable contestability of automated decisions, and institute proper training for AI practitioners and users.

Blankson: AI functions on algorithms or permutations of known data. However, it’s the unknown, the unseen that are absent from these equations, leaving ample space for disorder. When a system lacks these essential inputs, it overlooks crucial information such as morals, values and sensitivities. This deficiency can result in actions with profound unintended repercussions for both an organization and society at large.

Adhya: AI can only be as good as the data on which it is trained and has access to. Bias and inaccuracies in the data can lead to wrong conclusions. In parallel to investing in better technology systems, it is becoming clear that organizations need to also create better governance mechanisms that can minimize these biases. 

Bradford: The primary risks of AI in organizations are irresponsible use, such as overlooking biases in data and not catching inaccuracies and uninformed data exposure. To mitigate these risks, organizations should educate employees by:

  1. Training them on ethical AI use and bias mitigation.
  2. Educating them on data privacy and policies to protect sensitive internal data from being exposed to external AI systems.

Registration for The AI+HI Project closes Feb. 23.


​An organization run by AI is not a futuristic concept. Such technology is already a part of many workplaces and will continue to shape the labor market and HR. Here's how employers and employees can successfully manage generative AI and other AI-powered systems.