Discussions about Diversity…with a computer?
Posted On March 17, 2019
Most of my career, I’ve studied human/machine interactions
with the sole purpose of figuring out how to optimize machines for human use
and vice versa. Hey, let’s face it: There are a lot of things that computers
are better at than people, and there are a LOT of things that people are better
at than computers. These days, my brain is filled with ideas about how we can
utilize computers to help people explore a profoundly human topic: Diversity
and Inclusion in the Workplace.
At first, using computers to help move the diversity needle
seems anathema to the idea of ensuring people from all backgrounds feel included.
I would argue that in some cases, as bizarre as it seems, conversations with a
computer can actually help move the diversity and inclusion needle better than
any other strategy.
Conversations about diversity are not particular comfortable.
When this topic gets brought up at work, even with the best of intentions, people
start glancing around nervously. What if the topic was brought up by a machine?
What if there were ways to “lighten the mood” and make people feel exceptionally
comfortable sharing their thoughts and feedback anonymously? What if a goofy,
self-deprecating chatbot asked you for feedback:
“You know, it’s true that diversity and inclusion come up a
lot these days – even among us bots! 😊 But insuring inclusivity
at work is no joking matter. Do you feel that this organization makes people
with diverse backgrounds feel valued and included?”
What if, depending on how someone answers, the bot was actually
able take action based on the person’s response? For example:
Chatbot Response #1: “Thank you for your feedback. How about
nominating someone from a diverse background for “Person of the Day”? You can
leave some positive feedback for them as well!”
Chatbot Response #2: “Thank you for your feedback. You know, we have some open positions here, at this organization. Maybe you know people from diverse backgrounds who would be a good fit for one or two of them? You can check out open positions and refer someone by following this link…”
What if there was a way to track this data and as an administrator, get notified when employee sentiment started really going downhill? With this technology, already in use at Humaxa and at other organizations as well, we are out to make a difference.
Let’s make a difference together. Please let me know if you’d like to try out the chatbot, for free.
Carolyn Peer, CEO & Cofounder of Humaxa