Why Artificial Intelligence Allows Us to Be More Human: Reflections from Workday Rising

Why Artificial Intelligence Allows Us to Be More Human: Reflections from Workday Rising

Last week, the Vida team traveled to Las Vegas to attend Workday’s annual conference, Workday Rising .We joined thousands of attendees to discuss the future of workplaces everywhere. Machine learning—the work of using computer science to identify patterns and make recommendations—featured prominently in this discussion.

Leighanne Levensaler, senior vice president of Corporate Ventures of Workday, delivered a keynote on this topic that got at the heart of how AI and humans can work together. Rather than replacing humans, AI can help people and businesses generate a sort of “weather forecast” for a given model, leveraging both quantitative and qualitative data from a variety of historical and real-time sources to give us better predictive powers. Creating solutions for discrete situations or problems, on the other hand, is going to be an area left to the human mind for the foreseeable future.

One after the other, senior leaders at Workday explained how machine learning could help free up time for finance and HR teams to do more of the strategic work that gives us a sense of purpose, engagement, and fulfillment.

In finance, for example, machine learning could simplify financial transactions, such as matching accounting transactions and detecting anomalies. Within HR, machine learning has been used to create a skills ontology, narrowing 200 million professional skills to 55,000, and matching job descriptions with the best candidates to generate recommendations for talent and recruitment teams. AI and machine learning has the power to allow us to focus on the needle, not the haystack.

Like our Workday colleagues, we at Vida Health believe in the power of machine learning to improve indivdiuals’ experience of technology and even wellness programs. Matching people to a best-fit health coach is one example of machine learning in action. When people join Vida, we ask what kind of coach they would like, such as a drill sergeant or cheerleader, and the times of day they’re available. Based on their preferences, our data algorithms recommend five coaches from our coach network that we predict will be the best fit. We believe the interaction between individual and coach is what creates a supportive relationship and foundation for successful behavior change.  

At Vida, we also deploy machine learning to design personalized programs that fit people’s health goals and needs, behaviors, preferences, and readiness for change. This means that no two individuals’ experience are alike, even if they are both focused on say, losing weight or reversing high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes or depression. We use evidence-based clinical programs, and we deeply personalize them through machine learning. We are excited to work together with Workday to optimize the health and productivity of employees to be their best selves.

It became clear at the conference that the Workday ecosystem has real power to free up time for enterprise teams to be their most strategic and creative. From predictions about what might happen and planning for different scenarios, to choosing which path to take, this technology holds a lot of promise for the future, both for business and individuals who use their services. And we at Vida couldn’t agree more.

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