"Ex Machina" and the #WorkHuman Conference

by Matthew Stollak on Monday, May 16, 2016

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the WorkHuman Conference in Orlando, FL.  Traveling also gave me the opportunity to catch up on a few movies (with 3 year old twins, my movie viewing has shrunk to one a month, if I am lucky).  One of the films I saw was "Ex Machina."

Are we human or are we dancer?
In "Ex Machina," Caleb Smith, a programmer with Blue Book (think Google with a 94% market share) "wins" a one-week visit to the home of the company CEO, Nathan Bateman.  Bateman lives in an isolated, luxurious outpost covering millions of acres with only a servant.  He has also developed the latest in artificial intelligence, Ava; a robot who Bateman wants to see whether she passes the illustrious "Turing Test" by Smith.  For those not in the know, the Turing Test essentially serves to distinguish whether or not artificial intelligence can pass for human.

The movie made an excellent companion to the conference and a similar test could be applied in the HR world.  What characteristics truly make a human workplace?  Words such as recognition, appreciation, happiness, presence, and mindfulness easily flowed from speakers and attendees alike.  Sadly, I didn't hear much about paying a living wage for employees as part of the conversation.

With that in mind, what makes a workplace human for you?  What would make it pass your test?

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