Continental Executive Board Member for Human Relations and Sustainability
How is AI being used in HR at Continental?
We are eager to experiment and are always looking for the perfect solutions. Technology and algorithms help us to automate processes, validate time registration entries, process huge amounts of data in general and send standard automated e-mails for specific events. In a narrower sense, we also use AI to improve our internal recruiting process and talent management. In Mexico, we are currently testing a solution to match employees with vacant roles, whereby AI correlates the expertise from our talent management systems with the requirements of the roles and suggests suitable internal profiles to the recruiter – provided the employee has given their approval, of course. Employees are then notified of the vacancy and can decide whether to apply.
According to a representative survey commissioned by Continental at the end of February 2023, 45 percent of respondents in Germany are skeptical about AI, while 10 percent reject it outright. 61 percent even believe that the use of AI could lead to job losses. How can you convince employees of the benefits of this technology?
Like any other major technological innovation, artificial intelligence offers countless opportunities and will create millions of new jobs. To ensure people stay open-minded in business, we need to educate them and spark their curiosity, i.e. German curiosity rather than German fear. At the same time, we also need safety-related and ethical principles for artificial intelligence and must ensure that this is regulated – just as we have been doing at Continental for a number of years now with our Code of Ethics.
Continental’s AI Code of Ethics has been in force since 2020. What exactly does it govern, and how does the company ensure these rules are followed?
We developed our Code of Ethics together with our Works Council. It describes how we deal with AI at Continental, with a focus on data security and ensuring that all computer-based decisions can be easily tracked and understood. There must also be no discrimination or disadvantaging of individual groups under any circumstances. As the responsible member of the Executive Board, I naturally pay particular attention to this. The Code of Ethics corresponds one-to-one to international regulations such as the EU’s ethics guidelines for trustworthy AI. We initiated the project on the Executive Board, and the rules were then developed by our AI specialists in collaboration with the various departments.