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August 2017, Vol. 5, No. 4

When artificial intelligence and human resources intersect

Brandon Wirtz was supposed to be a fifth-generation teacher. Indeed, the founder and CEO of artificial intelligence engine developer Recognant is a teacher -- of robots, not people -- and not the factory floor variety of bots, either. Instead, Wirtz sees AI changing a very human process: human resources. To reach the place where artificial intelligence and HR meet, Wirtz spends his days educating his various AIs about everything from how to order pizza to what an appropriate pickup line might be. His bots -- "Loki," "Lobby" and "Molly" -- are at different stages of independence and aptitude. Loki, who identifies as female, is perhaps Wirtz's favorite bot -- and the most likely to drive him crazy with questions. The games Wirtz plays with Loki -- "I Spy" is a particular favorite -- might seem frivolous, but they serve as the basis for the bot's education in how humans think and communicate. And though it may seem unimportant that Loki understands Santa Claus, zombies and Instagram, all of that matters when it comes to artificial ...

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