Can artificial intelligence help answer HR’s toughest questions?

With companies continuing to shrink or outsource their human resources departments, it is tempting to augment that traditional business function with artificial intelligence. Data science holds so much promise for other fields that it makes sense for algorithms to replace imperfect human decision-making for hiring, firing, scheduling, and promoting. 

A robot sits between two people at a desk, all with open laptops, the humans eye the robot suspiciously.

But new research from Wharton professors Peter Cappelli and Prasanna “Sonny” Tambe flashes a cautionary yellow light on using AI in human resources. In their paper, “Artificial Intelligence in Human Resources Management: Challenges and a Path Forward,” the professors show how limited data, the complexity of HR tasks, fairness, and accountability pose problems for digital HR. The study, which was co-authored by Valery Yakubovich, professor at ESSEC Business School and senior fellow at the Wharton Center for Human Resources, also looks at how to remedy those problems.

Read more at Knowledge@Wharton.