Beverage company appoints robot as ‘AI CEO’

Sunira Chaudhri

Sunira Chaudhri

Toronto Employment Lawyer

But hiring a robot to for a leadership position presents some obvious issues.

“I don’t really have weekends. I’m always on 24/7.”

 

This is the zealous work ethic of Mika, the female robot appointed “AI CEO” of the Polish beverage company Dictador.

 

While the company insists Mika will not be involved in the hiring and firing of people, she will source potential clients and choose artists that design Dictador’s custom rum bottles.

 

While the appointment of Mika is more likely an attempt to grab global headlines, the move signals institutional coziness with artificial intelligence leadership.

 

There are a couple of obvious issues when it comes to hiring a robot to take on a leadership position in an organization.

 

Firstly, it is no secret that AI is inherently biased.

 

Despite the risk of bias, Dictador gave Mika a very public facing position. In fact, “she” gave an interview to Reuters explaining she is sourcing potential clients and hand-picking freelance workers.

 

In another interview, Mika declared she had no “personal bias,” but only “unbiased and strategic choices.”

 

However, Mika’s bald statement that she is “unbiased” doesn’t hold much water.

 

For example, the Wired article Why AI bias can hurt your business covers various routes of AI bias, noting “systems can make decisions that disadvantage certain groups.”

 

Of course, earlier this year, Geoffrey Hinton, the “Godfather of AI,” resigned from Google to speak freely regarding the potential perils of AI.

 

It is notable, but perhaps comical, that the organization promoted Mika as the “first CEO female robot,” Dictador is patting itself on the back for promoting diversity when, in fact, it could have simply hired a female CEO of the human variety.

 

Welcoming artificial intelligence robots into the leadership ranks will leave current employees wondering about their own future within organizations. It is difficult to surmise when and how an AI CEO could replaced a human, almost rendering humans obsolete for leadership positions, which is a scary and demoralizing thought.

 

Ultimately, Mika cannot and will not fulfil the true function of a typical CEO role, but that doesn’t matter. The fact that organizations are willing to experiment with introducing robots into leadership is short-sighted and ignores the rich, nuanced and often complicated dynamics that exist within workplaces.

 

Mika will not be able to discern a warm and collegial office environment from one that is fraught with tension. She will not be able to accurately identify emerging leaders or determine what makes a high achiever.

 

A CEO always keeps an ear to the ground and lives the very pulse of their company.

 

Despite her “24/7” work ethic, Mika will have none of these traits, but alas, she is CEO.

 

Have a workplace issue? Maybe I can help! Email me at sunira@worklylaw.com and your question may be featured in a future column.

 

The content of this article is general information only and is not legal advice.

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