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Communications of the ACM

ACM Careers

The Case For and Against Digital Employees

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Ren, a digital-human shopping assistant

Ren, a digital-human shopping assistant created by Pinscreen for fashion retailer ZOZOtown.

Credit: Pinscreen

Rapid progress in computer graphics, coupled with advances in artificial intelligence, is putting humanlike faces on chatbots and other computer-based interfaces. These digital humans mimic human communication as they offer a range of services.

When deployed at scale, digital humans will radically change the business landscape. They may not be as capable or versatile as human employees, but they have clear advantages when it comes to cost, customizability, and scalability. Once "hired," they never tire, never complain, never seek a raise, and always follow company policy.

Digital humans are already making real money for their employers. Within a decade, managers at most companies are likely to have a digital human as an assistant or an employee.

From Harvard Business Review
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