Hello Neighbor publisher’s CEO envisions AI monitoring in the workplace

Jul 15, 2023, 7:59 AM UTC
2 mins read
Hello Neighbor publisher's CEO envisions AI monitoring in the workplace
(Image credit: tinyBuild)

Hello Neighbor‘s publisher, tinyBuild, recently made headlines when CEO Alex Nichiporchik discussed the potential uses of AI tools in the workplace during a keynote speech. The speech, titled ‘AI in Gamedev: Is My Job Safe?’, aimed to explore how tinyBuild adopted AI in its daily practices to enhance efficiency.

However, it was one specific aspect of the presentation, focusing on “AI for HR,” that sparked controversy. Nichiporchik delved into how AI could be utilized by HR departments to identify burnout or “toxicity” among employees. He proposed a process called “I, Me Analysis,” which involved analyzing Slack messages, meeting transcriptions from platforms like Google Meet and Zoom, and running them through ChatGPT, an AI language model.

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According to Nichiporchik, there was a correlation between the frequency of using personal pronouns such as ‘I’ or ‘me’ and the likelihood of experiencing burnout. By identifying employees who excessively focused on themselves, dominated meeting discussions, and received negative feedback in peer reviews, tinyBuild aimed to pinpoint potential burnout risks and intervene early.

The reach of Nichiporchik’s vision remains somewhat ambiguous. WhyNowGaming reported that tinyBuild had retroactively experimented with the technology on former employees and had now started using it proactively. Nichiporchik cited a recent case where a studio lead was struggling, and without this monitoring system, the issue may have gone unnoticed, potentially leading to the studio’s demise.

However, in a subsequent statement, Nichiporchik contradicted the report, emphasizing that the HR part of his presentation was hypothetical and referring to it as a “Black Mirror reference.” He asserted that tinyBuild does not monitor employees or use AI to identify problematic individuals, expressing his intention to explore how AI tools can be utilized for positive purposes.

Despite Nichiporchik’s clarification, it is clear that AI’s role in employee monitoring continues to be a topic of concern. The use of AI in various industries, including gaming, has ignited mixed feelings among professionals. The potential for misuse and ethical considerations surrounding employee privacy highlight the need for careful consideration when implementing AI-based monitoring systems.

While tinyBuild may not employ such monitoring practices, the discussion initiated by Nichiporchik’s keynote raises questions about the future of AI in the workplace. As AI remains a prominent and evolving topic, it is essential for industry leaders and organizations to navigate its implementation responsibly and ethically.

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