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The future of TA is AI - I still think we should have won!

Through November 2023, there have been a number of amazing, thought provoking events for Talent Acquisition professionals in Sydney.


The Sydney Rec Meetup, HR Tech Fest, Hiring Success, the Sydney Talent Meetup and finally the ATC.


The Great Debate at the Sydney Rec Meetup was such fun. Turns out all that debating during high school was useful for something after all! 


While Craig Watson cleverly secured the win for the Negative team through a linguistic technicality (who even argues the definition of “the”), the overarching message was both teams agreed there is no future of TA without AI. 


The coming years will witness an unprecedented integration of algorithm-powered applications, digital co-pilots, and AI-driven devices into our daily workflows. Those without access to such technological advancements might find themselves lagging in efficiency which in turn could lead to increased costs.


However, an essential revelation surfaced during discussions at the ATC: merely focusing on leveraging AI for efficiency might inadvertently lead us down a path of diminishing returns. As we embrace these technological advancements, it's crucial to shift our focus from a race to the bottom in pursuit of efficiency toward a more holistic reimagination of our roles. 


We need to explore how these advancements can augment our capabilities and redefine our professional landscapes. Otherwise we will all be out of a job.


One of the most impactful perspectives emerged from Reanna Browne, a futurist and academic, who challenged our conventional understanding of the future. She emphasised that our visions of what lies ahead are often constrained by our perceptions of the past and present. Drawing a number of parallels, she highlighted how seemingly futuristic gadgets like the Apple smartwatch have precursors in pop culture, citing Penny from Inspector Gadget sporting a similar device back in the 80s or how cartoons from 1900 depicted scenes which could very well be classrooms of today. A key paradigm shift that Reanna urged us to make was that while we are often focused on technological advancements we often neglect the “softer” side - what cultural and behavioural changes will the future hold?


This notion sparked a realisation: while current applications of Generative AI predominantly revolve around optimising existing processes, the true transformative power lies in embracing untapped possibilities and changing our society’s status quo. 


The intersection of emerging technologies or the integration of existing yet disconnected tech plus changes in what we define as “normal” could unlock revolutionary opportunities.


As I reflect on these insightful discussions and paradigm shifts, it's evident that the future of work isn't just about embracing AI for efficiency's sake. It's about daring to dream beyond the boundaries of what we deem possible today. It’s definitely going to be an interesting few years ahead.


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