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If you're unhappy in your role, an algorithm will find out.

The AI monitoring how much bankers love their jobs

How happy are you at work? How much do you like your colleagues? How committed are you to excellence during your every waking moment?

If you're faltering on any of these, a new form of algorithm will soon find out. The new frontier of artificial intelligence in the workplace is about quietly monitoring the communication of employees.

David Pinto of ELEFense has designed a system to do just that. Ostensibly, it's all objective and not linked to the individual: Pinto says the results are aggregated and employees' privacy is protected:  "The output becomes numerical and all you can understand is the most important thing, bottom line values and motivations."

The ELEFense agent scans employee communications between individuals on professional platforms like Slack and Teams. It measures 30 values, including innovation, integrity, respect and teamwork and generates a score for each, with 1 being most positive and -1 being most negative. Raw data is collected in groups of minimum 8 people and is subsequently deleted, leaving only the metadata and preventing individuals from being identified.

Through natural language processing, the AI is able to analyse and compare interactions to the well of data already processed. When it detects a noticeable change in one of its metrics it notifies management and suggests a plan of action to rectify it using a recommendation engine.

So far, ELEFense has a number of clients in financial services including large banks in Australia and the UAE alongside an Israeli venture capital fund. It's not the only one active in the area and it echoes advances at other firms like Behavox, which used their natural language processing to tackle data leaks, ascertaining that bankers are 10 times more likely to share inside information and make inappropriate comments through phone calls and video chats.

In the case of the UAE bank, preventing data leaks is also a primary concern, though the approach over there is to improve enthusiasm in order to prevent disgruntled employees intentionally leaking data. According to Pinto that makes up 90% of data leaks at the bank.

There are signs that banks are upping their inhouse teams creating surveillance software too, although it may not be used for monitoring productivity and enthusiasm. Goldman Sachs, for example, has been spotted hiring technology engineers to monitor employee communications and to "design of proprietary control and surveillance applications."

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AUTHORAlex McMurray Editor
  • am
    amazing alex
    1 February 2023


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