Skills is Part of AI-volution, According to Mercer 

Read the An Ode to AI podcast recap to find out what was discussed in Mercer’s new podcast series that aims to explore how AI is disrupting the HR Tech.

July 27, 2023 By Ravijojla Novakovic Share on Twitter! Share on Facebook! Share on LinkedIn!


The podcast AI-Volution: Redefining HR is powered by Mercer, an industry leader helping organizations create the digital advantage in the now of work, with the goal to inform HR practitioners, HR leaders, vendors, or anyone curious about what’s happening in the world of AI and the impact that it’s going to have on the world of work.  

In the episode An Ode to AI, Jason Averbook introduces the AI-Volution: Redefining HR podcast, which aims to explore the impact of AI on the world of work. He is joined by Tara Cooper, a work tech advisor who covers everything related to WorkTech from an analyst standpoint.  

Semos Cloud’s Skills: Redefining the Norm with Innovation

The speakers discuss Semos Cloud technology that combines Recognition and Rewards with Skills in a unique approach. Tara Cooper highlights Semos Cloud as the HR tech vendor with the most interesting approach to skills. The platform uses AI to generate recognition messages in various styles and creates NFTs as rewards. The AI also analyzes these interactions to infer employees’ skills without burdening them with self-assessment.  

In Tara Cooper’s words:  

“This one really caught my attention because they’re really taking a different approach to skills. We know skills is a big topic inside of the HR and the work tech arena right now, but what I loved is we met with this vendor called Semos Cloud, and they’re combining rewards and recognition with skills. So a lot of the traditional ways that we’ve approached skills in the industry is to put a big burden on the employee, to go in and upload, think about all the skills they might have, and validate these and ask for validation. It’s quite frankly, not a very fun process…” 

Faced with Jason Averbook’s confirmation that the old way of validating skills is not a fun process, Tara Cooper continues:  

“Semos Cloud is really shaking things up as they’re actually starting with recognition, and they’ve got some really cool AI built into their recognition. So I can tell the AI to write recognition for you in the style of my favorite author or poet. I can also have it create NFTs that create your very own Van Gogh painting that represents you being this great superhero, having helped me in some great way, shape, or form. But what’s even better about what they’re doing is they’ve got this fun interaction. You’re going out and recognizing your colleagues, and it’s a lot of peer to peer interaction.”  

To shed more light on Semos Cloud’s unique approach to skills, Tara Cooper extrapolates: 

“So you’ve got this human connectivity, and then they’ve got AI reading into that to say, if I’ve praised you for something, what skills does that indicate that you have that can automatically be inferred and put into your profile as an employee? So it doesn’t put the burden on you. It just is automatically collecting all these really great interactions across the company to determine what kind of skills people might have. And you still have the ability to correct it or say no. That’s actually not something I’m really great at, but I am working on it and it can still direct you into other areas and passive learning, but it’s just a really great way to really make the human experience first and foremost in this arena, as opposed to adding one more thing to the employees to do list. So I really love it.” 

AI Streamlines and Improves Productivity

In the continuation of this discussion, Jason Averbook’s shares his excitement about the potential for enhancing digital employee experiences through generative AI prompts, similar to how Google revolutionized internet search with a simple bar instead of links. 

The speakers discuss the benefits of using AI to streamline and improve productivity in organizations. They mention how consumer experiences, like searching on Amazon, have set expectations for efficient information retrieval in the workplace

Additionally, three headlines are discussed:  

  • Microsoft integrating Copilot into their applications,  
  • the projected growth of the global generative AI market, and 
  • McKinsey’s estimate of the value that generative AI can bring to the global economy annually. 

The conversation shifts to healthcare and how robots can assist with tasks that require physical labor so that human workers can focus on higher-level responsibilities

The speaker highlights a company in China mass-producing humanoid robots for elder care as an example of this trend. They address concerns about automation replacing jobs by emphasizing that robots are meant to supplement human work rather than replace it entirely. 

Examples are given of how AI is being used in healthcare settings, such as generating patient summaries and personalized treatment plans. It is also mentioned that generative AI can accurately predict heart disease risk at a high percentage rate. 

The transformative impact of generative AI on both workforce efficiency and healthcare outcomes is emphasized, with a focus on improving patient care through better predictions and more time dedicated to empathetic interactions. 


The goal of the podcast is to explore how HR and the changing world of work can contribute to creating a better world by balancing economics and empathy. “An Ode to AI” also impressively addresses the ethical concerns surrounding AI in HR, a crucial aspect often overlooked in similar podcasts. By delving into the potential biases and privacy issues that AI introduces, the episode encourages listeners to approach AI integration thoughtfully and responsibly. 

In conclusion, “AI-volution: Redefining HR” has created a thought-provoking and informative episode with “An Ode to AI.” Whether you are an HR professional, a tech enthusiast, or a curious listener eager to explore the AI landscape, this podcast delivers on all fronts. With its engaging content, exceptional delivery, and focus on ethical considerations, this episode sets a high standard for the genre.