At the inflection of AI and HR: How we’re equipping employees for the AI era

May 13, 2024 | By Anshul Sheopuri and Lucrecia Borgonovo

Artificial intelligence is at another inflection point, transforming industries and supercharging efficiency, adding perhaps trillions to the global economy.

Shopping Muse, for example, revolutionizes how we search for and discover products in a retailer’s digital catalog. We’re piloting an AI mentoring tool that delivers customized assistance for resource-strapped small business owners. Consumer Fraud Risk harnesses AI to identify bank payments to scammers before the money has left their potential victims’ accounts.

But AI is not just transforming experiences for our customers: We’re also using it to personalize experiences for our employees.

AI and emerging technologies almost always spark questions, curiosities, concerns — even fear. We recognize the best way to build trust is to bring our employees along with us on our AI journey, ensuring they are made aware of and educated about our commitment to responsible and ethical AI — in addition to the benefits that AI can bring to their day-to-day experiences and overall career path.

Here are five ways we’re using AI to improve the way our employees work, grow and manage their careers.

AI as career coach

Everyone’s career is unique and different, and AI can help employees chart and navigate them. We’re using AI in Unlocked, our internal talent marketplace, to match employees to opportunities, including short-term projects, volunteering, open roles, mentors and learning pathways, recommending them based on both skills they have and skills they want to build. Today, 90% of our workforce is on the platform, with 500,000 project hours and counting.

It's great for our company — and great for career development and growth: A third of employees who participated in a project or mentoring have seen a role change or promotion. Shifting our focus to skills has opened new doors and pathways for our employees.   

AI as wellbeing guide

We're using technology to understand employee sentiment, support well-being and productivity, and encourage healthy work habits. To understand what employees think and feel about the company and what matters most to them, we need to synthesize a lot of data and extract the most meaningful insights. We use AI sentiment analysis to help us understand key themes and areas of opportunity, and to deliver personalized insights to our employees on how to optimize their working habits.

Are they effectively managing meetings? AI offers the best cadence based on feedback indicators from meetings they have either hosted or attended. How can they collaborate better? AI can help them harness the power of their network through insights on the breadth, depth and frequency of their interactions. Do they struggle with balancing their workload and the needs of their colleagues? We’re using AI to send automatic nudges that help encourage employees to consider scheduling an email to better accommodate the recipient’s time zone.

AI as workflow assistant

AI is being built into the flow of work for everyday moments — nudging a manager to approve a team member’s vacation request, for example. Our automated interview-scheduling tool uses AI to coordinate and, when needed, reschedule interviews with hiring managers. As a result, candidates now see their interviews getting scheduled nearly 90% faster — plus they can complete the scheduling process when it is most convenient for them. Enhancing experiences for hiring managers and candidates continues to drive our results. We’re looking at additional ways to drive more personalization — using AI to suggest open roles, for example.   

AI as copilot

AI can be a personal digital assistant, improving productivity by reducing repetitive tasks and creating capacity for innovation. We’re using AI to make meetings more productive with real-time summaries and action items directly in the context of the conversation.​ We’re also using it to learn more about our meeting and calendar behaviors — including the volume of our ad hoc and recurring meetings — so that we can make changes for improved experiences. Using AI-propelled nudges, we encourage employees to block focus time purposefully on their calendars, so that meetings aren’t constantly interrupting their flow, and to use technology such as real-time messaging for more agile working.

AI as workforce planning partner

AI can be an advisor for intelligent decision-making, helping understand demand and supply for skills in a local market. Using Unlocked, we can see skills across our employee base, learn where we have gaps and develop learning paths or hiring plans to address them. AI can also help make informed decisions across a variety of workforce planning factors such as talent availability, office space utilization, client proximity needs and cost — helping us make location strategy decisions that best serve our business, employees and customers.


AI is an exciting tool, and that’s important to remember — it’s a tool that people use. We view AI as a partner on our journey to improve the employee experience, and we work hard to create opportunities to use it but also to nurture conversations about it.

We host ongoing discussions about the trends, technologies and safeguards we’ve put in place to ensure our employees know our AI strategy and the current use cases for AI that create value for our business. To drive general AI proficiency, we’ve set up self-paced learning opportunities with customized content depending on an employee’s level or expertise in the area.

This training is coupled with our commitment to ethical AI and avoiding bias in AI through education of our data privacy and responsibility principles and AI guidelines. For example, with the proliferation of ChatGPT, we encouraged our employees to test and learn within the guardrails of our data and tech responsibility principles.

Underpinning this journey is our culture, which we call The Mastercard Way. More than a year ago we went through an incredible enterprise-wide evolution of our culture, building on our strengths and doubling down on behaviors critical to our future growth: thinking big and bold, innovating with intent, creating scalable solutions, and learning and pivoting, all through the lens of doing the right thing.

We’re helping our teams build these behaviors so they can be future-ready and well positioned for the changes that will come with AI and other emerging technologies.

Anshul Sheopuri is the executive vice president for people operations and insights at Mastercard.  Lucrecia Borgonovo is the chief talent and organization effectiveness officer.


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Anshul Sheopuri and Lucrecia Borgonovo