Report: Companies Test ‘Virtual Bosses’

For years, we've heard about the threat of robots or automation taking human jobs.  But if the automated revolution takes over, it won't just be for rank-and-file employees.  According to a new Wall Street Journal report, companies like Uber, Royal Dutch Shell and General Electric are now testing or using algorithms to perform management tasks.  These tasks range from scheduling and project assignments, to some machines that can read resumes and perform employee evaluations.                                  

Bobby Albert, author and workplace culture expert, has seen the automation phenomenon at work, and believes it can be useful for certain functions.  "For example, trying to find somebody internally in the organization that fits a particular need," he tells KTRH.  "There are some (technologies) that a lot of companies are using with scheduling of employees, especially if you've got multiple locations and you've got employees all over the country."

Nevertheless, Albert still thinks we're a long way from having complete virtual bosses.  "For many of these tasks dealing on the people side, the leadership side, which requires a human relationship, it is probably many, many years down the road, so leaders are not going to lose their job," he says.

In the meantime, Albert believes companies should embrace automated technology rather than fear it.  "As long as it helps people do their job with a greater efficiency, I think they have an interest in that," he says.

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