Uncreative creation

By Niels Niemann

“Probably closer to 2030 to 2040.” This is what Elon Musk tweeted a few weeks ago, when the New Scientist announced on Twitter that artificial intelligence will beat people “at everything” by the year 2060. What the founder of Tesla and SpaceX did not know at that moment: The tweet to which he referred had been generated completely autonomously by an artificial intelligence.  Continue reading


How does the introduction of instant-messaging services affect in-person communication throughout age groups?

In this social report, I will try to explore the behavioral changes that the introduction of mobile instant messenger (MIM) had to face-to-face communication.

Since the introduction and massive success of MIM on smartphones, the amount of impersonal communication through WhatsApp, Facebook Messager & co. far exceeds numbers in the age of SMS texting.

Studies like: Smartphone usage in the 21st century:who is active on WhatsApp? show an exponential growth of MIM such as overall mobile phone usage. Further studies show that communicative behaviour can be used to compensate personal deficiencies. (Why shy people use instant messaging: Loneliness and 

other motives) But do MIM substitute or just complement in-person communication? How do people from different age groups communicate in different situations?

I will explore this through both field research (survey amongst students of the University of St.Gallen) such as desk research (Beyond WhatsApp: Older people and smartphones) The evidence from the survey will further be explored in-depth by the creation of focus groups.

Future of recruiting: using artificial intelligence (AI) to select the ideal employee

by Florentina Herr


Technology innovation shapes the lifestyle of human beings in the modern world. It enables us to communicate faster and more efficiently. The same is especially true for communication in the workplace and thus technology plays an essential role in the process of finding potential candidates and the ideal employee for a new position. Each year big corporations such as Unilever spend a huge amount of time and money on this process, which has seen no brilliant improvement since decades: prepare a Curriculum Vitae, a cover letter, send as a attachment in an email and wait for a response. The new way to deal with this issue is the usage of AI to select the Ideal Employee. What are the next steps? Will face-to-face job interviews be completely eliminated by AI one day?

State of Affairs

As Statista presents in a statistic asking 297 heads of HR in Germany, if they use a applicant-management software, around 60% answered with yes. The second question asking these heads of HR who answered with “yes“, for which purposes they use these softwares, more insights were given. Almost everyone of them (99%) use applicant-management softwares for administration of applicants data and documentation. 83% of heads of HR in Germany use it to automatically answer applications. Only half of the respondents answered that they use it to establish talent pools. 36% said to use it to trigger onboarding processes. Almost similar in percentage, respondents answered to usage for definition of fitting job profiles and 24% of respondents also use it for a first applicant check on the basis of keywords.

Currently, digital service providers such as Pymetrics, HireVue or new start-ups like Talentcube are revolutionizing the management of HR. In Germany, a new start-up named Talentcube offers an APP for applicants to apply with a videoclip in which they have to answer three questions that are provided by the firms in advance. Companies such as IBM and Allianz are already using it and reducing its costs with this idea. This signals the first step in transforming the traditional HRM into a digital or virtual HRM.

The next step, as Business Insider reveals: Pymetrics provides neuroscience-based games to access each candidate. It tests the ability to focus, memory, risk averseness as well as the ability to real emotional and contextual cues. The results are then evaluated by AI and provided for the HR manager. For him an enormous pool of every candidate is reduced to a small pool of people with “higher potential“ for the position.

Another high-tech company is HireVue, professionally for video interviewing. As the homepage of HireVue claims, they are able to accomplish higher quality hires, access and interview in one step and thus offer more efficient hiring. Known brands that use HireVue are e.g. Vodafone, Nike, Intel, Tiffany & Co., Honeywell, Qantas, Carnival Cruise Line, and 40% of Fortune’s Most Admired.

Main Issues

Accessing people with AI seems to be first of all cost reducing from the view of the companies, as it helps the HR manager to avoid reading applications without a chance or to interview people where there interviewer knew in the first few minutes that this candidate will surely not be offered a job, but out of politeness cannot rudely let them leave the room immediately. Also, it may help to find more job-fitting applicants, as the chance to get a better candidate increases, when more people can be access in a shorter amount of time. Another argument sure is that biases of the interviewer are reduced, as there is basically no personal contact in the process.

Still, there are issues that need to be discussed. What Pymetrics is measuring with the neuroscience-based games may refer to logical thinking, risk awareness etc. But according to an article about 10 facts about jobs in the future, Lee Rainie presents that the nature of jobs is changing as the knowledge of the economy rises. Occupations requiring higher levels of social skills may affect 83% of employment, which outnumbers the percentage of analytical or physical skills. So in order to evaluate applicants of the future correctly, AI should be capable of understanding and evaluating social skills. This is a challenge for AI. Plus, to measure social skills under real-life circumstances, AI may need to observe applicants in a group. So the advantage to use AI to minimize effort may vanish.

And even though workers express more positive than negative views on overall impact of technology on their careers, people express more worries than optimism about future automation in this conducted research. The strongest expressed anxiety, covering 72% of respondents, is that there will be a future where robots and computers can do many human jobs. Directly after that comes the worry of 67% of respondents that there will be development of algorithms that can evaluate and hire job candidates. Only 22% of respondents are enthusiastic about this, less that expressed enthusiasm about robots and computers doing human jobs. This may demonstrates the negative feeling people have with being interviewed and hired by AI.

Also, the interview may be missing a “personal touch“. The first day of a new job, you come to the office and know nobody. You may feel like a machine, that has been chosen by a “thing”. But in this case, at least, you have been given this job.

But imagine you just found an advertisement of your dream job. It requires you to log-in to a company-internal website where you are asked to type it all your personal information but also to take realtime videos of yourself, with perhaps one chance to record. These are evaluated by AI and it is the AI that decides if you may be offered a position or are out of the game. Two days later, you get the result: „Sorry, unfortunately we cannot offer you the position.“. How do you feel? Do you perceive the evaluation process as fair? Can you accept the result or would you rather have wanted a real person to evaluate you by a face-to-face interview? Those issues concern the perception of fairness and the ability to accept decisions that are made by non-humans. Is our society so far, that we feel like we are on eye level with machines that sort humans into categories? Many more issues can be discussed: how can you tell that neuroscience-based games really reflect my future behavior in the company, my ability to work in groups or my overall performance as a future leader?


How music listening and the music industry changes with new technologies?

By Karim Aziz

Back when streaming platforms such as Spotify or YouTube did not exist, music was only accessible during live performances. However, various innovations, from the phonograph in 1877 to our smartphones, made music listening reachable at any time and anywhere. Consequently, music consumption increased over the years, US citizens above thirteen spend on average 35.7 hours listening to music per week. Various mediums are used to consume music, from digital with MP3 to physical with Comapct Discs and Vinyls, here is a chart dividing user group per age and the way they listen to music.  Continue reading

The ethics of using smart wearables to nudge employees in Switzerland:

By Théodore Leroux

The contemporary workplace has evolved tremendously in the past decades, and the introduction of new technologies are an important factor to this evolution. Thanks to efforts in miniaturization of processors and batteries, and improvements in network technologies, an altogether new kind of device entered the working space: smart wearables According to a Financial Times article, nearly one third of large american corporations provide the employees with smart wearables, resulting in 202m such devices that have been given out by companies in 2016. Wearables are devices, such as smart watches, rings or smart shoes composed of sensors and actuators that are worn by users. As part of the broader Internet of Things (IoT) infrastructure, wearables collect information from the device status and the environment, communicate the data to other devices and servers, and is transformed into knowledge for the users and/or other stakeholders.

Continue reading

Social media and Narcissim: does sharing visual cotent on social media enhance narcissim?

By Ophelie Caveng 

The use of social media has increasingly taken a big place in our everyday routine.  68% of American use Facebook and 35% use Instagram where at least half of users visit these platforms on a daily basis according to the Pew research. According to another study 95 million pictures are shared on Instagram per day and 300 million on Facebook. Considering those numbers, it can no longer be denied that a shift in society has occurred concerning visual content sharing. However, it is important to point out that the rise of content sharing on social media has also offered several possibilities for people to expose their self to other. This tendency could have led to a narcissist tendency which raises the question: In what way sharing visual content on social media may lead to the enhancement of narcissism? Continue reading

The relationship between social media and emotional health


By: Nikolina Adrovic

The aim of the research is to explore how social media is connected with human emotions: what is the impact of social media on happiness, loneliness, self-esteem and other measurable emotions? The research investigates the correlation between time spent using social media and mental health. In addition, the study raises a question if social media can cause addiction and how that affects our emotions?

As Statista stated, the scientific research conducted on teenagers aged between 16-18 have shown that when they use social media they mostly feel happiness (56%), friendliness (48%) and boredom (33%). However, other examinations reveal other results. They proved that correlation between the amount of time spent on social media and happiness is inversely correlated! This conflict creates open debate: is social media making us happy or is it causing depression and addictiveness? Primary research in this study will be conducted using the survey as a quantitative research methodology and series of interviews as a qualitative method to find out exactly what emotions people experience when using social media and if there are differences in emotions people feel when different social media platforms are used.