Artificial intelligence to develop Volvo’s human capital management

Managing and administering your human capital – that is, your employees and their skills – is far from easy. This is especially true for global companies, where employees number in the thousands and are spread around the world. Here, research can help large companies make the transition to a digital working life, strengthen their competitiveness, and attain significant savings.

AI + human intelligence

When work tasks disappear or change, employees' skills need to be updated or roles changed. New staff may need to be recruited, and for those already employed, this may involve learning a new technology or taking on different tasks as the workplace becomes automated. It can also mean instead of employing consultants, the company uses an employee from elsewhere in the organisation.

“We want to develop a digital platform that helps companies with this kind of matchmaking, combining AI with human intelligence and empathetic decision-making. Because there's an important difference between letting AI help you find a good and affordable hotel, for example, and decisions about people's careers and professional lives. You don't want a computer to decide what course you will take in the future. You want a manager who listens and helps you," said Daniel Yar Hamidi, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Information Technology at the University of Borås.

Two years to find a solution

Until 2021, he was the Project Leader of a sub-project of the Data-driven Innovation Project, funded by the Knowledge Foundation. The research team investigated barriers and strategies for managing data-driven innovation and collaborated together with Volvo AB. They saw how important the issues of skills and professional development are in this context. They realised that strategies are needed to address skills shortages in digital innovation.

The project members of Digital Opportunity Matching now have two years to find a solution, of which the creation of the platform is a part. A second element is to take into account the risks and opportunities that may exist. Volvo is committed to providing developer expertise and the goal is to have a platform that the company can use in its work.

Master's students interview HR managers

“We in the research team are more of architects and guarantors to identify the right data sources, applications, algorithms, and overall thinking, where human intelligence and AI are combined in the right way," said Daniel Yar Hamidi.
Two of the university's Master's students in informatics will use the project as a basis for their Master's theses.

“We are particularly pleased that our Master's students are contributing to the research project and interviewing HR managers at Volvo AB and creating a number of user cases that highlight today's processes, as well as creating the conditions for clarifying future opportunities ,” concluded Daniel Yar Hamidi.

The Digital Opportunity Matching project will run for two years and is funded by Vinnova. The goal is to create a solution where AI combined with human intelligence can help large companies manage and administer their human capital better than using the rather static human resources management systems on the market today.

The project includes RISE, with Anders Hjalmarsson Jordanius as Project Owner, researchers from the Department of Information Technology at the University of Borås, and Rikard Lindgren from the University of Gothenburg. Collaborating partners are Volvo Groups AB, Volvo Trucks and Volvo Group University.

Read more on the project’s webpage 

Daniel Yar Hamidi (Researcher Profile)