Human Resource Machine: Less HR, more coding


Will your job be replaced by artificial intelligence someday? It will in "Human Resource Machine," unless you can prove you're a better employee than robots.

That's the premise of the game, anyway. But the actual game play really has nothing to do with HR. You're not giving interviews. You're not matching paperwork to personnel files. You're not solving employee relations disputes or negotiating contracts with a union faster than robots.

You're coding. And you have specific directions to follow for a successful code.

When I saw the game on Nintendo e-shop, it did mention you would have puzzles to solve, but I didn't expect coding. I mainly downloaded it because I never expected to see "Human Resource" in the title of a video game. However, it really does guide you through the coding, and you actually get multiple tries to get the commands right. 

If anything, it helps me understand what functions are, or at least that's what it reminds me of. Remember functions from Algebra 2, or Trig, or whatever high school math class that was? You enter a number in some kind of formula and something else pops out on the other side? That's what this is. Proper input leads to desired output. 

I have not gotten even halfway through this game yet. However, I noticed that as you progress in the game, the number of possible solutions increases. There isn't only one correct formula. There are certainly more efficient solutions to problems (and you earn more points for more efficiency), but you can still pass the level if you get the right output through a more roundabout method.

This adds a level of complexity that isn't unlike real life, and isn't unlike math class. As math problems increase in complexity, options for algorithms also increase. As problems or issues become more complex, whether at work or in your personal life, the number of possible solutions becomes more and more numerous. There are often lots of options when embarking on a new puzzle, but unlike "Human Resources Machine," the "quickest and most efficient" solution may not be the best. Slow and deliberate is sometimes better than quick and efficient.

So will machines take over your job in the future? Maybe. But humans aren't robots. A robot may beat you at a game, but it probably can't decide which candidate is the best hire or which of two equally qualified employees deserves the promotion.Some tasks still need human intelligence, not artificial intelligence.