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Tech company appoints virtual robot as CEO

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Online gaming and metaverse company NetDragon Websoft has announced it has appointed a virtual humanoid robot powered by artificial intelligence (AI) as a CEO.

Known as ‘Ms Tang Yu’, the robot executive will serve as a ‘real-time data hub and analytical tool’ to support decision making within the Chinese organisation.

Tang Yu will head up the company’s principal subsidiary, Fujian NetDragon Websoft, and act as a symbol of its move to incorporate AI into its management.

The tech company has become one of China’s most well-respected video game and mobile application developers since it was founded in 1999.

It is responsible for online multiplayer games Heroes Evolved and Conquer Online, and their corresponding Android apps along with Conquer Poker – Texas Hold’em.

A NetDragon Websoft press release read: ‘The appointment is a move to pioneer the use of AI to transform corporate management and leapfrog operational efficiency to a new level.

‘Tang Yu’s appointment highlights the Company’s “AI + management” strategy and represents a major milestone of the Company towards being a “Metaverse organization”.’

WHAT IS THE METAVERSE?

The ‘metaverse’ is a set of virtual spaces where you can game, work and communicate with others who aren’t in the same physical space as you.

Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg has been a leading voice on the concept, which is seen as the future of the internet and would blur the lines between the physical and digital.

‘You’ll be able to hang out with friends, work, play, learn, shop, create and more,’ Meta has said.

NetDragon Websoft has yet to reveal significant detail about Tang Yu’s responsibilities and how they will contribute to the running of the company.

However it has been said that she will be overseeing operations within the ‘organizational and efficiency department’ of the billion dollar company.

The press release stated: ‘Tang Yu will streamline process flow, enhance quality of work tasks, and improve speed of execution.

‘Tang Yu will also serve as a real-time data hub and analytical tool to support rational decision-making in daily operations, as well as to enable a more effective risk management system.

‘In addition, Tang Yu is expected to play a critical role in the development of talents and ensuring a fair and efficient workplace for all employees.’

Chairman of NetDragon, Dejian Liu, revealed that the company will continue to develop the algorithms behind Tang Yu to ‘transform to a metaverse-based working community’.

He said: ‘We believe AI is the future of corporate management, and our appointment of Ms. Tang Yu represents our commitment to truly embrace the use of AI to transform the way we operate our business, and ultimately drive our future strategic growth.’

Earlier this year, researchers at London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) determined that AI is equal to or better at hiring staff than human bosses.

They conducted a review of previous studies that assessed the effectiveness of AI as a recruitment tool.

Although AI had limited abilities in predicting employee outcomes after they were hired, AI is ‘fairer’ and marked a substantial improvement over humans, they revealed.

AI also boosts the ‘fill-rate’ for open positions and is ‘mostly better than humans’ at improving diversity in the workplace.

Fill rate refers to how many job positions a company has filled over a time period, compared to how many jobs are still open, waiting to be filled.

AI can be used in recruitment in several ways, such as searching through hundreds of CVs for a certain combination of keywords to narrow applicants down to those with the most relevant experience.

Another example is the use of chatbots to conduct a preliminary interview with a candidate before he or she can meet their prospective human employer.

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