How to Give a Robot a Job Review

Smart, quasi-autonomous robots and machines are replacing humans in workplaces all over the world. They learn fast, work hard, and certainly complain less. Intelligent technologies are increasingly delivering greater value for less money. But “better than human” comes with its own managerial challenges. What happens when these algorithmic ensembles underperform? Who retrains “machine learning” underachievers? When sophisticated robots — Fidelity robo-advisers, Uber autonomous cars, Watson’s medical diagnoses — behave in ways that make customers nervous, how do they get the feedback essential to improvement? Who — or what — is accountable? Microsoft’s recent Tay debacle is a perfect example of what happens when you don’t take machine learning “training” seriously enough. Brilliant, hard-working machines will require job reviews every bit as much as lazy and toxic humans. Effective executives understand the productivity and customer…


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