tv Press Here NBC November 26, 2017 9:00am-9:31am PST
"press: here" is sponsored by barracuda network. this week, a high tech ce 00 tells us what it's like to meet with donald trump and the white house. a robot lets you keep an eye on older parents and want a new job? your first job interview could be with a computer. our reporters, mark nu and al-jazeera's jacob ward on "press: here." good morning, everyone. i'm scott mcgrew. the white house held tech week recently and lots of ceos from silicon valley went to washington to meet with the
president. it's not the first time he has met with silicon valley. while he does not enjoy the same relationship with high tech as his president did he sesor, he clearly understands what's to come from technology. keith line back is from live ops. he's made the trip to the white house and has advice for high tech viewers joined by mark nu of global television and tell me how does this work? do you get invited to the white house or do you convince them to bring you? >> from what i understand, lots of people are trying to get there. what i found is i had a voicemail one day from the white house and i thought it was a hoax. >> of course. >> who gets a phone call from the white house but i called henry back, a special assistant to the president. sure enough, very real opportunity. what he was curious about is how
is it we put americans back to work. >> and you are putting americans to work all over america, particularly in some red states. i want to get to that but i'm fascinated by the white house part. does one drive up to the white house and the gates? do you walk up to the white house? >> you walk up to the white house through the reporters, field some questions and then you go through secret service booth and some extra top secret clearance stuff, you've been cleared in advance. >> sure. >> and then we had the opportunity to meet in some rooms outside of the white house in one of the other federal buildings and then those were breakout sessions focused on just a number of different topics that we were with a group of ceos to bring back and debrief with the president. then we walked to the west wing of the white house and into one of the conference rooms there. the president was scheduled to meet with us for about an hour, spent almost two hours with us. and what i found was just fascinating is that we had an
opportunity to really share what is it that we need to do to bring jobs back that have been outsourced. a lot of jobs have been outsourced, off shored, and we have an opportunity to bring some of those back. we also talked about the regulatory environment, things that inhibit our ability to put americans back to work as well as infrastructure investments. so really fascinating. there's some follow-up that he asked for that different groups of us are preparing back to bring information back to him and some additional points of view. >> i think about, you know, barack obama was famous for sort of creating a comfortable environment. he would take off his jacket and roll up his sleeves and call you by your first name to try to get you to relax as much as possible. what i've seen of those meetings it does not look like there's a lot of joking around and hanging out. i'm just curious, was there a
sense of the power of the presidency in that meeting or was there a sense of really trying to get you guys to relax and give him ideas? >> i don't have a whole lot to compare it to because -- >> it doesn't happen to you a lot? >> outside of who's president, what the administration is, whether it's washington, this is about putting americans back to work and we really have a very genuine opportunity to do that. and in some cases we need some regulatory environment -- some regulations to be eased because, you know, contrary to what we may believe, sometimes it's hard to bring some of those jobs back to employees and different states. what we've found is that there is a very real opportunity -- there's 91 million people in the work force today and what we've been able to do is help bring some of those people back. these are folks that might be disabled, may be veterans, may be stay-at-home moms and dads that are looking for another opportunity and through technology that's available today we really have a
fascinating way to be able to do that. and to provide solutions that haven't been available in the past. when you think about call centers of the past, which are a dead topic to us. we're talking about bringing knowledge workers enabled with technology to bear so that we can optimize a service experience for the end customer. that's different than call centers of days gone by where you read the script and you follow the rules and if i can't solve your problem, that's good policy. >> to my viewers, maybe one of the most familiar might be the hertz, when you get on the phone and pick up the phone. i realize you don't supply hertz. you do aaa for instance? >> we do. >> that idea you go into somewhere and you pick up a phone and somebody answers on the other side. they have a poster behind them. could very well be a young woman in tennessee or something from her own homeworking her own hours. >> very well could be. >> and would they work for more
than one company? might she be an aaa agent at one moment, pick up the phone next time she's american airlines, next time she's hertz? >> we have the opportunity -- agents have an opportunity to earn across a number of customers. what they need to be able to do is get certified on how to be a great agent and represent that -- >> really know that particular company as well? >> yes. >> we've had the experience where it's so noisy, probably in somebody's home, where arguments are going on, i recently had one. how do you monitor the quality control of that? have you got to listen in on every conversation to manage that amount of people? >> we do listen to a lot of the calls but we're very clear in the requirements when we are working with our agents and bringing them into the community on what it takes to be a successful agent. then we're able to monitor those types of things and give them feedback, both positive and be constructive on the other things that they need to change. even in a brick and mortar type
call center you may have all kinds of background noise. >> to mark's question, i'm thinking of the bbc guy. children running in behind him. i think we'd all accept that. >> right. >> these are jobs that can be taken by people who maybe are not as mobile, maybe the handicap or live very rural and wouldn't be able to drive into a call center but all of a sudden if they've got the high speed data they can do it from a farmhouse. >> that's right. what we've found over the years, think about i think recently the iphone celebrated the ten year anniversary. i saw a headline that said the iphone introduced as slow and -- slow and small, right? >> yes. >> think about how technology's changed over the last ten years. we're able to bring people into the work force now that live in the rural environments because wi-fi access is different than it was three years ago. when you think about the technology that's available to allow folks to interact together as though they're part of a
community in a traditional kind of employer model. >> keith, i want to get one last question in and that is circle back around to your experience at the white house. if i'm a tech executive, i'm invited to the white house. you've been there. give me a tip. what do i need to know? >> go. >> go. >> this is about solving problems for our country. when the president of the united states calls and asks for help, i think as americans we have an obligation to go help our country. >> excellent answer. thank you. thanks for being with us this morning. up next a robot of sorts that might bring generations closer together when "press: here" continues.
"press: here" is available as a podcast. >> you are looking at an omni. it's not a robot. it's a telepresence device. the omni is one of a number of devices that will be able to connect us to aging parents or let us attend board meetings in our pajamas. it's based in mountain view, long telescopic neck, bringing your video image more or less to eye level. the creator is one of the most talented roboticists around.
i had a question for you over e-mail, what do you call the robot? you said it's called the omni. there could have been a cute name for t. didn't you think of a cute name like stan or something? >> we let the families pick the name. everybody wants to call it differently. >> the product is the omni but i can call it anything -- >> exactly. >> what do people call their robots? >> they get very creative. someone called it little buddha. >> that's fantastic. >> so i actually used a telepresence robot made by beam for about six months. i was working between new york and san francisco. i would communicate and drive it around. i did salary negotiations with people. somebody told me they were pregnant. i had a lot of interesting conversations. i've seen you quoted as saying that in five years you expect this thing will not only be able
to pick up objects for people, wash dishes and all of this stuff. the math as i understand it is that even building one arm, like a fully functional arm is $100,000 object now. we're talking millions of dollars for something that could really do the dishes for you and everything else. >> right. >> why is it so expensive? >> so great points. i think this is a good challenge of how to control the arm, how to fit into environment of home, make sure it's light weight, safe, finger dexterity to do tasks. for us we're focusing on not only making everything autonomous but it could be human model to both. >> but you expect the costs would come down on some components over the next five years, that would be possible? >> exactly. deep learning and additive manufacturing. all these sectors are coming together. >> sorry.
>> how will artificial intelligence and that thing be incorporated? >> right now it doesn't have real intelligence, does it? >> that's right. we have control over the movement. we are working on in the home. >> and to be clear, this is a robot of sorts, but it is controlled by a person on the other end and their face appears on the tablet or can if you're on the tablet. somebody sitting at home, it's not the thing but at least it feels kind of the same. you can join a family for dinner when you're off on business in tokyo? >> yes. it's an embodiment of the family member. i put one in my home in vietnam. my grandmother is teaching me how to cook over the robot. i can poke my camera in this case, ingredients, pans and pots. she will continue cooking and explaining things away.
incredible experience because keep in mind my grandma never had smartphone before. it just allow us to have much richer, meaningful direction. >> i heard it's saved a life, true? >> yes. yes. one of our users, he put a robot in the home and he was trying to go to work. he called his mom and she didn't pick up the phone because -- and he became worried. >> sure. >> so he drove around. he managed to find her that she was in pain, you know, urinary tract infection and because, you know, he could find her, he could talk her through call 911, call his father and took her to the hospital in time. >> i guess that's the difficulty here, right? there's a certain line past which you need to be able to have a good idea. speaking to her and saying, here's how you call 911 only gets you so far.
how do you think about the tasks that you want to pursue that you can't because they can't physically interact with their surroundings? >> we think of it more as a pipeline. we need to get into the home front, right? we have a very clear value proposition to the user. oh, yeah, bring objects around. might be too weird, right? so now it's celebrating. kind of an introduction. >> you're giving this guy a hard time. >> it was amazing. >> now. >> it doesn't have arms. >> it's like it is that thing of it's sort of -- it's a security camera right now on wheels and i think that's a very cool thing. there are these vast military programs to try to make a firefighting robot or the darp pa olympics. -- >> the robot has an articulated
neck. >> yes. >> it can look around, left, right, and look around. it has a human feel to it. i would imagine you can evenly choose a few features. why did you choose that and why does it feel so human? >> that's a great question. we designed the robot from the ground up to fit into the home environment. we -- when people look at things, you know they're looking at things. >> right. the robot moves with you. >> that's not the normal cue that you're getting from the real action. they look almost human. >> uncanny value. >> it took spaces on the video screen. his grandmother thinks of the robot as some embodiment of tuk.
not some strange -- >> yeah. yeah. does the robot -- do we go jig -- what do we have, 2,000 now? >> 1399. >> 1399 right now, less than i thought. what i really want to do is make a $600 robot or i want to make a robot that does more. >> this is more. >> pick one. we're working on the arms. >> tuk, omni robots. look it up on the web. cool to watch. fun videos as well. thanks for being with us. >> thank you. up next on "press: here", what happens if the recruiter is a computer. your career decided by ai when "press: here" continues.
"press: here" is available as a podcast on itunes. welcome back to "press here. you never know what to expect with a new job interview. it might be a trick question like what's your biggest weakness. you might have an interview with one person or several people. either way you're dealing with humans in human resources. well, not anymore. these days companies with job openings are asking people to
interview by text message and the interviewer on the other end is named mya. if you don't get past her, you don't get the job. mya communicates by text message, because she's a bot. how are you doing? >> i'm great. how are you? >> i'm great, too. i want to ask you a few questions about your application. do people realize that what they are talking to is not a human being at all? >> yeah, actually, it's supernatural in terms of the conversational experience. >> i'm sure it feels natural. do they realize it's not a human being? >> yeah. we survey candidates and we found that 73% of candidates that were surveyed whether or not they thought they were actually talking to a recruiter thought it was a human. >> you've got this down. >> passed the touring test? >> passed the touring test. we say that it's a bot.
we're up front about it. they still thought -- >> if you tell them it was a bot and they thought it was human, you are shouldn't be hiring them. >> we're not talking the next cto. what companies might want this tech following? >> we're focusing on high volume requisition. predominantly call-center type jobs, amazon said they're putting in 500,000 of these individuals the next two years and you need to do it all. >> retail, hospitality are other target job categories for us. food services. >> sure. >> there's a number of big opportunities out there. >> are the questions strictly about yourself, how low have you workt where there was more of subjective there. the goal is to get that initial screen out of the way
instantaneously when the candidate applies rather than waiting 72 hours up to a week to get a phone call. >> to mark's point, if it asks are you 18 or above, you move onto the next step. but there are more questions? >> you can get intangibles out of the conversation. we're focusing on the core requirements. >> what are the core requirements? >> yeah. things like shift scheduling. what's your availability? can you work mornings, can you work nights? are you okay with the pay range? can you lift 50 pounds. and then we're all able to gauge the interest levels and motive. you know, telling them about the job and just making sure that they're actively interested in that role. >> how do they signal that -- if
they're saying, no, i'm not interested, then maya -- >> that's noted. >> then maya can actually recommend other jobs that are more suitable for their requirements or their interests. so there's this really interesting concept around, hey, traditionally we're going out before they fall into the black hole or get rejected. that's it. with maya she'll guide them to the appropriate role. you're always going to end up in an opportunity where you get a chance to interview. >> there's a tremendous amount of research. i'm doing a lot of stuff on bias right now. my big topic. there's a tremendous amount of work that shows -- even gender, does any of that take the bias
away? >> yes. i think one of the best examples is people, recruiters generally thought where you went with that performance. but, yeah, it all comes down to what data is feeding the model from a predictive standpoint. so we're really thoughtful about what data we actually leverage in order to drive that prediction. so, for example, the hiring decision is inherently hot. we take that out because it's things like rejection and performance that help us predict hiring outcomes. take out some of the bias. >> if you -- does the perspective employer tell you what to ask? i would think that's where the frail at this is is their biased
way of asking things. >> sure. the future state of my yeah is her ability to take a set of inputs and generate a set of conversations on her own. today we work with the clients to generate the best set of questions and enable hey yeah to adapt and adjust within our current product. how far do you think you are away from where ai can go through and make a good decision to hire somebody? >> i fairly think there is a relationship building element, especially when it comes to the final decision or the actual negotiation, right? but there are a number of transactional steps throughout the process that are weighing recruiting teams down and that's where we can bring in automation. i think over time we'll be able
to continue to kind of eat away at more and more of the problems. >> as you're programming this bot, how do you give it -- maybe you don't, but how do you give it personality? siri has a personality. maya has a personality. is personality programmed or is that something you hide the wire. we're actually able to work with our customers on what type of personality do they want to incorporate. do you want to be more edgy, more serious. we'll make that on the back end. part of that is actually giving the ability. >> edgy slighter. >> omg. >> no, but that -- that would actually -- millennials applying for a job via text message with a slightly edgy recruiter, that's not such a bad idea. >> yeah, it's great. that's how we're able to convert