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The UK’s first AI employee is now for hire

Avery Ingram (AI), reportedly the UK's first AI employee and the world's first AI software developer, is now available for hire.

Avery is an autonomous AI tool developed by software company February to assist existing software development teams by making their tasks easier, checking code and clearing any backlogs. 

Avery has been fully personified as an employee with a ChatGPT generated CV, an AI-drawn portrait and even a LinkedIn account. 

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She is available for hire by software development companies and is able to follow a traditional recruitment process. 

Speaking to HR magazine, February CEO Ash Lewis said: “We have a technical interview process, just like with a regular human employee.  

“Avery currently is completing four of these technical interviews per day and there are 2,000 businesses on our waiting list.” 

The bot’s contract is similar to an employment contract too and includes notice periods. 

She has already been appointed to generative AI software support roles as a senior full-stack developer in the development teams at Graze, Propello Cloud, Fabspot and Encode Health, and is currently working on 180 projects. 

Avery’s efficiency is unmatched by her human counterparts as she can handle more than 20 tickets a day compared with three for humans. 

Companies pay the equivalent of Living Wage to use Avery.

The speed at which she works means that she can deliver the equivalent of a week’s work of a human for 10% of the cost. 

However, Lewis said that Avery does not create concerns for the job security of human employees.

He said: “We've created Avery to work alongside a team of humans, and our clients so far are reporting that their work is more satisfying and they're having to deal with fewer repetitive tasks now that they're aided by an AI team member.” 

Lewis argued that AI tools should be viewed as a way to improve current roles by limiting repetitive tasks. 

He added: “Ultimately it's likely that with companies becoming so much more efficient thanks to AI tools and human employees will eventually be able to focus on more creative and less repetitive work.” 

Cassandra Hoermann, head of employer brand and experience at HR software company Personio, said AI will never replace human capabilities entirely. 

Speaking to HR magazine, she said: “It’s clear AI has a role to play in the workplace going forward and it is certainly a topic that’s generating a lot of debate and headlines.  

“But, while AI employees are a novel idea, they’re unlikely to take over the workforce soon. There is simply too much that humans can do that AI still can’t.  

“An organisation’s people are still, and likely always will be, its most important asset.” 

However, Simon Jones, founder of HR consultancy Ariadne Associates, said AI innovation is likely to result in some redundancies. 

In March, investment banking firm Goldman Sachs predicted 300 million jobs will be lost or degraded by AI. 

Speaking to HR magazine, Jones said: “In a sense, it’s not dissimilar to the situation in the 1980s/90s when a lot of factory jobs that could be done faster by robots disappeared. AI might also lead to justifiable and legal redundancies in certain areas. 

“But whether a task is undertaken by AI or a human, businesses will still need to maintain existing standards such as liability for decisions, meeting legal requirements, or expectations of ethical behaviour.” 

According to a survey from trade union Prospect released this week, the majority (58%) of people would like to see the UK government regulate the use of generative AI technologies in the workplace to help safeguard jobs. 

With the stakes around AI so high, Gosia Adamczyk, director of HR at 'advertising technology company Verve Group, said HR should prioritise communication when rolling out new AI systems. 

Speaking to HR magazine, she said: “What HR should continue doing is build an understanding among employees that AI helps them become more efficient, allowing them to focus on more strategic topics.  

“Employees usually value automation and are glad to see investments that take the burden of repetitive tasks.  

“HR professionals must focus the narrative on this approach and ensure communication is concise.”