Sophie Gane

Sophie Gane

Copywriting Manager

AI is no longer a far-off, futuristic dream for filmmakers to romanticise and Silicon Valley aficionados to monopolise. It’s permeating our daily lives, often in ways we might not even realise. By understanding and adopting relevant AI technology, people professionals can exponentially improve the employee experience.

Keeping employees safe

The AI technologies used by social media platforms to monitor and remove inappropriate or harmful content from their feeds can be applied for the same purpose to workplace technology. For example, Benefex is making use of AI technology on our OneHub | Recognition platform, using Google’s Vision API module to censor harmful or inappropriate images and GIFs. The module can ‘read’ the image’s content and remove it from the platform if it’s deemed inappropriate for general viewing, such as images that display violence, gore or nudity. This means employees can use popular GIF libraries to recognise a colleague, with the organisation knowing that inappropriate images are already filtered out of the menu before they begin searching.

Making daily life easier

Smartphones, tablets, and home assistants like Amazon Alexa contain many AI-powered capabilities such as voice assistants, navigation, and predictive messaging. These tools have made their way into employees’ everyday habits, and those habits don’t cease to exist the moment they start work. Plus, many of these capabilities increase the accessibility of the platforms that employ them. Investing in workplace technology with voice command capabilities, predictive typing, and automatic subtitling on video calls can widen your recruiting pool, as they help to accommodate employees with physical impairments that affect dexterity, hearing impairments, or reading and writing difficulties.

Improving engagement through personalisation

Machine learning is an area of AI that enables technology to learn its user’s behaviour. It makes predictions for the user based on huge amounts of existing data. Services like Netflix, Amazon and online superstores use this type of AI to make recommendations based on other users’ behaviours. For example, Netflix uses its data to make personalised recommendations through its ‘Because you watched…’ categories, aggregating the data of millions of other users to surface the content that’s historically been popular with other watchers of the same films or programmes. This is an algorithm-based system, but it utilises AI as the algorithm itself ‘learns’ the user’s preferences. Plus, it surfaces tailored thumbnail images accordingly, based on what’s been successful with the viewer before.

In the workplace, in the near future, this type of AI will one day soon be built into internal systems such as benefits technology to make personalised recommendations and increase engagement and take-up through showing the benefit in its most attractive light to that specific user.

Supporting mental health

Chatbots have become commonplace in the online retail space, but in 2020, chatbots that support mental wellbeing, such as Wysa, Tess and Woebot, saw increased usage as the pressures and restrictions of lockdown took their toll. The evidence suggests that people don’t stick to using mental health chatbots long-term, but as a short-term relief, these tools might be useful to the individual. While not a substitute for professional mental health care (and this should be made clear to employees), having access to a mental health chatbot within your wellbeing and/or benefits platform could be a source of comfort to your people who aren’t sure where to turn.

Simplifying complex content

Chatbots also see great usage on insurance and banking sites, where the content can be complex, and the type of enquiries mean that a chatbot diagnostic allows user to effectively self-serve. Chatbots are becoming more refined and intelligent, navigating conversations with humans to great effect. At work, it could be that we’ll soon see these online assistants incorporated into HR systems to absorb the everyday queries which take up a lot of HR’s time.

At Benefex, there are some exciting new developments along the way which will be making further use of Google AI to help improve the employee journey through their workplace systems. We can’t wait to share the details with you. In the meantime, have a listen to our recent webinar, Could HR and Reward make better use of behavioural data?


Sophie Gane

Sophie Gane

Copywriting Manager

Sophie is a self-confessed coffee addict, with an undying love for puns and terrible jokes.

Before working at Benefex, Sophie worked in a student accommodation where she was responsible for all communications with the residents, and planning and running events in the building. She has a degree in English Literature from Edinburgh University, and heads up to the Scottish capital whenever she can. She's originally from Staines though, innit.

When she's not writing blogs, Soph can be found supporting her beloved Arsenal, watching The Simpsons, and adding to her collection of film and TV-based t-shirts.