Future of Work
Your weekly CogX briefing on HR tech, automation, and the workplace
Should AI replace your CEO?
Two sides of the AI story play out in the world of work this week. On one hand, AI is getting so competent that it stole a CEO’s job — on the other, some employees say that the transition to automation is doubling their workload.
Ensuring that employees can use AI effectively may fall under the remit of a Head of AI — but no one seems to know what they should be doing.
Meanwhile, the dangers of the AI arms race are on display at one health-tech startup, where an exposé revealed that humans are doing the bulk of the AI’s work. Is the use of AI in healthcare overhyped?
Finally, we highlight some of the innovative ways companies are optimising work for employees — from offering them four-week “workcations” to costing out meetings in a bid to protect workers’ time — in the CogX Must Reads.
CogX Must Reads
AI is supposed to make jobs easier. Some employees say it’s doubling their workload
AI should free up workers’ time by streamlining tasks, automating repetitive work and improving efficiency. But some find that AI tools are adding to their workload with frequent mistakes and misunderstandings
AI job disruption impacts women more than men
Jobs in sectors with greater female representation — like office support, customer service and food service — are more likely to be automated, a McKinsey study found. As a result, women are 1.5 times more likely than men to have to change jobs
A UK company replaced its CEO with an AI
Hunna Technologies’ AI CEO has surpassed expectations: its successful decision rate is a whopping 90%. The AI — which is supervised by humans — has identified new markets for the business, optimised resources and accurately forecasted industry trends.
Want fewer meetings? Measure them in cash
Shopify is using a cost calculator to estimate the price of any meeting with three or more people, taking into account average pay data, the number of attendees and the event length. The goal is to drop unnecessary meetings by showing everyone what they cost the company.
Future of Office
The hottest new job is “Head of AI” — but what do they actually do?
AI is one of the few areas companies are actively spending money on: in the US, the number of AI leadership roles has grown threefold in the past five years.
Top companies introduce “work from anywhere” weeks
Google, American Express and others view “workcations” as a free post-pandemic perk they can give staff in a tight labour market. It’s also a way to boost productivity by keeping employees happy. “Work is a thing you do, not a place you go,” one said.
AI and Automation
Competition in AI capability leads one company to make false claims
The founders of medical transcribing service DeepScribe have made sweeping statements about the power of their AI. But the tech can’t pull off basic transcriptions without heavy human assistance: a team corrects terminology, removes erroneous prescriptions, and adds billing codes.
The AI boom has created a new class of workers
Annotators do the mundane manual labour required to keep AI running, from labelling footage for self-driving cars to classifying the emotional content of TikTok videos. Their work has enabled breakthroughs in AI — but it’s also precarious, badly paid and lacks labour protections.
In case you missed it
“Influencer” is the latest job to be automated. Milla Sofia’s TikTok account features Elon Musk and has over 100,000 followers — but she’s an AI.
We'd love to hear your thoughts on this week’s Issue and what you’d like to see more of.