Artificial intelligence is changing the workplace. Finding the right employees is more important than ever.

In this file photo from 2018, a student demonstrates how a robotic hand works as part of National Engineers Week. Photo by Adam Glanzman/Northeastern University

Whether it is being used to guide financial advisors at investment companies or track employee productivity at restaurant chains, artificial intelligence is becoming increasingly common in the workplace. And human resources departments need to make sure employees are ready for the change.

“In the age of digital transformation, organizations need to adjust and innovate to stay competitive,” said Uwe Hohgrawe, the faculty director of analytics and enterprise intelligence in Northeastern’s College of Professional Studies. “And people need to develop new skills to work with AI.”

Hohgrawe and Carl Zangerl, who directs Northeastern’s human resources management program, have organized a symposium to help companies figure out how to handle the human side of incorporating artificial intelligence into the workplace.

The Symposium on the Intersection of AI and Talent Strategy will be held on Tuesday, February 12 in Northeastern’s Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex. It is an opportunity for companies to figure out where artificial intelligence fits in their businesses and what kind of workforce they need to implement it.

AI has enormous implications in terms of skills and competencies required for employees now and in the future. There are a lot of symposiums and conferences around all of the cool things that are going on with AI technology. But relatively few deal with what it takes to put together an AI implementation team.

Carl Zangerl, director of Northeastern’s human resources management program

 The symposium will bring together human resources managers with data scientists, consultants, and other experts in artificial intelligence. Participants will have the opportunity to attend one of four panels delving into the challenges of implementing specific artificial intelligence projects. They will focus on using artificial intelligence to make decisions, boost productivity, understand customers, and identify new business opportunities.

Two keynote speakers will discuss how artificial intelligence is predicted to impact the workforce worldwide. The first speaker is Kate Lazaroff-Puck, the global manager for the future of work at McKinsey & Co., a consulting firm that regularly publishes research into business and management. The second speaker is Michael Davies, a senior lecturer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and founder and senior partner of Endeavour Partners, a consulting firm focused on helping business capitalize on digital advancements.

The keynote speeches will be live-streamed on the Facebook page for the Office of Alumni Relations.

At the end of the symposium, representatives from Northeastern’s lifelong learning network, which offers training in both the technical and business aspects of artificial intelligence, will be available to help attendees figure out the best way for their organization to prepare their employees.

“We want to give these folks the knowledge and the resources they need to move forward,” Zangerl said. “Within our network here at Northeastern, we have solutions that can address all of these training needs.”

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