Cornerstone OnDemand Launches ‘Innovation Lab’ for AI

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Cornerstone OnDemand has established an internal center of excellence focused on developing new ways to apply AI to workplace needs.

The Cornerstone Innovation Lab for AI includes data scientists and machine learning specialists who concentrate on approaches that are both practical and ethical, the company said. The lab’s participants were involved in developing the Cornerstone Skills Graph, the company’s skills engine.

Cornerstone OnDemand introduced an "innovation lab" intended to both study and promote issues surrounding the use of AI in HR Technology. @CornerstoneInc #HR #HRTech Share on X

In addition to its innovation work, the lab will educate people about the benefits AI can have on the workplace when it’s properly—meaning ethically and responsibly—implemented.

Despite all of the attention that artificial intelligence attracts during discussions of HR technology, Cornerstone believes integrating AI into workforce solutions is still a relatively new concept. The company cited Gartner’s Artificial Intelligence Survey, which found just 17% of employers use AI solutions in HR today, and only another 30% plan to do so by 2022.

Cornerstone’s lab is meant to “propel the research and development of AI in the workplace forward and responsibly incorporate new AI innovations into Cornerstone’s offerings,” said Cornerstone CTO Mark Goldin. Goldin is among the lab’s team members, as is Director of Data Science Cyril Le Mat and Chief Data Protection Officer José Rodriguez.

Artificial Intelligence Put to Use

Earlier this year, the ethical issues surrounding AI was the subject of increased study by industry analysts, vendors and customers. John Sumser, principal analyst at HRExaminer, told the HCM Technology Report that he expected ethics would move to the center of HR technology discussions during 2020, with “the first conversations” beginning around the idea that “every HR department needs an ethics organization.”

At the time, Sumser saw signs that HR departments were examining ethical concerns in some depth. “The real meaty problem in AI is what happens in the HR department,” he said. “So it’s going to be critical for the HR department to take the lead.”

Of course, this was before the Covid-19 pandemic began to dominate the thinking, and the focus, of most everyone involved in HR. But conversations with analysts and vendors indicate that the challenges involved in implementing AI have remained active concerns, even if they’re not discussed as often as they were before March and April.

For one thing, AI helps employers deal with uncertainty, pointed out Tom Tate, senior product marketing manager at Phenom. Before the pandemic, talent acquisition teams were focused on the war for talent. As the crisis unspooled, employers shifted their attention to reskilling and upskilling. AI, he said, “is one of those tools that can really help transform HR organizations into being more strategic and forward-thinking leveraging the data that they have.”

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