Innovation, Future of Work, What We Do
We thrive on innovation and turning ideas into action. Anyone can be an inventor and an innovator.
When Roberto S. joined ADP, he never imagined how far he’d “Roll.”
He started his ADP journey by working as a Machine Learning Engineer. In May 2022, he moved from the Brazil Labs to the Innovation Lab in Roseland and was awarded the ADP 2022 Inventor of the Year.
ADP’s Inventor of the Year recognizes an associate who develops products with great features. Tech associates submit a summary of the invention to the ADP Patient Program, providing a unique solution to a challenge.
Roll is the first digital AI/ML HCM solution for small businesses, offering payroll, time and attendance, and more. Everything a small business needs for running HR & payroll in a simple chat-based mobile application. Roberto’s patents have driven Roll from an idea on a whiteboard to a real in-market offering.
“Roberto’s contributions to ADP and, specifically, Roll, has been invaluable, and how he focuses on driving technology forward and innovating to create new technology makes him so successful,” Roberto Masiero, SVP of Innovation, said. “It’s no surprise he’s been named the Inventor of the Year!”
ADP recognizes the hard work and innovative efforts that go into filing a patent application. Every inventor named on a patent application receives a monetary award for each utility and each design. Roberto was chosen based on his contributions, providing technically detailed and sound documentation.
Machine Learning in Roll
The machine learning models Roberto designed for Roll use a chat interface to interact with clients. In the process, Roberto and his team developed a variety of NLPS (Natural Language Processing) technologies for Roll in the intent classification, questioning, and answering domains.
On a weekly basis, the team meets to discuss strategic and tactical developmental ideas for Roll, including a technical paper reading session, in which they collectively brainstorm ideas to help make a better application.
“Developing technologies for Roll is a never-ending process of asking questions and learning,” Roberto said. “This is a team effort. I’m only the messenger and sometimes the guy poking everybody with links and technical articles.” On the team, he gives kudos to Guilherme G., Roberto C., Carlos N., and Juliano V.
The Team’s Patent Process
Roberto sees the patent process as a method to transform ideas into a formal document that will increase ADP’s innovative power on the market. “There is always a great team working behind the scenes to help engineers describe a solution and ensure this initial description will make it to a patent, with all the legal aspects covered,” Roberto said.
As the Inventor of the Year, Roberto encourages other inventors to keep in touch with the patent team to understand the process and give their ideas a try.
Advice for Technologists
“My career journey has been a remarkable, fun 5-year ride at ADP,” Roberto said. “If you’re considering a tech career, I’d encourage you to apply to ADP because this is where you can bring your ideas forward, receive feedback, and try new things.”
Transformation is at the heart of what makes ADP unique. With innovation rooted in our values, ADP continues to provide opportunities such as our patent program, showcasing ideas from associates at all levels.
“It is always important to ask yourself how the idea will benefit ADP,” Roberto said. “Keep your minds open and study new areas and domains. Sometimes the innovation happens in the intersection of domains of expertise!”
#MachineLearning #MachineLearning #HCM #Technologists #Roll #Inventor
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Innovation, Tech Trends, Career Insights
As a leader in the industry that collects a wide range of data from employees, we ensure the information is safe with us.
Say you met a technologist at a hackathon and want to connect with the person more. Instead of exchanging business cards like before, you’ll likely pull out your phone and exchange information digitally.
From LinkedIn profiles, Instagram usernames, hometown, and family relationships to mentions in articles from years ago, the internet and digital world do not erase one’s footprints in most cases.
With all information and data becoming digitalized in the 21st century, it’s time to utilize them in a way that’s never been done before. Data is not just your social media photo or where you went for vacation; it can be numbers and confidential information from financial to hospital records.
We recently had the opportunity to speak with Xiaojing W., our Distinguished Engineer who advocates for data privacy and user-respectful interactions. She shared with us some ways she keeps applications safe and secured at ADP.
Why Data Privacy is important
By Xiaojing W., Distinguished Engineer
On September 7, 2017, a consumer credit reporting agency announced that it had breached the data of approximately 143 million U.S. consumers, including customers’ names, dates of birth, social security, driver’s license, and credit card numbers. These incidents resulted in a loss of consumer trust, therefore, future business opportunities.
ADP takes pride in building applications that put customers’ privacy first with holistic security and privacy practices. In fact, our Chief Data Officer developed a holistic privacy framework instilling the privacy culture and centrally managing the practices in daily data operations.
Here are some of our methods:
When it comes to creating a trusting experience for users, we have five best practices to share:
With over 1M clients (about the population of Delaware in the United States), ADP pays more than 38M workers worldwide (about the population of California in the United States), and just in the US alone, we reach nearly 20% of the private US workforce.
As a leader in the industry that collects a wide range of data from employees, we make sure the information is safe with us. At the same time, we pay attention to the design process, ensuring a safe, user-friendly experience for everyone involved.
Here are five design patterns for creating user-respectful and privacy-aware interactions:
Tech Trend: All about Data
Data is always changing, which means more people want ways to keep their information private. This has led to the development of new techniques that preserve user information in large datasets.
Here are four types of technologies that are getting attention in the industry:
You may ask, how does the new landscape in data privacy change our product design thinking?
To better understand our clients and the needs of their employees, we must have a comprehensive view of who they are (i.e., profile data) and what they do, and how that impacts their day-to-day (i.e. behavior).
By following HBR‘s new data privacy rules, our products will empower users with trustworthy technology solutions.
Our private permissioned blockchain also safeguards highly sensitive personal data while simultaneously allowing individuals complete control. This innovative technology enables ADP to craft new products and services that benefit employees and clients.
Data privacy isn’t the Privacy Officers’ job; it’s a collective responsibility. As engineers who are often tasked with the technical aspects of securing sensitive data, we must understand the landscape of privacy-enhancing tools and technologies.
Keep in mind that we must stay up to date with the changes in the data industry as our users trust us with their information. Taking care of the trust and protecting the data should be everyone’s top priority.
#Data #DataPrivacy #WomeninStem #Automation #UserExperience
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Why ADP, Tech Trends, Career Insights
From Tech Trends, Women in STEM, and Career Advice, to Award Stories, we will continue sharing stories with the community.
2022 IN REVIEW – Top Ten Blogs from Innovation to Leadership
Cybersecurity, hybrid work, and diversity – business is changing.
We started the year with a video on workforce trends, sharing that 75% of the global workforce changed how or where they live. Workers who trust their team and leaders are seven times more likely to be strongly connected. With a new year ahead, we continue building a transformed workplace, designing for everyone. Here’s a video on ADP leaders sharing insights about our DE&I strategies and how to lead with inclusive language.
Top Ten Blogs of the Year
1) Looking for an Internship or First Job? Here’s the secret to getting hired
What do I do if an internship requires a specific degree? What if the job required two years of relevant experience and I only have 1.5 years?
Liz Gelb-O’Connor, Global Head of Employer Brand & Marketing, shares hiring stories and qualities recruiters look for in top candidates!
2) How Al/ML are Driving Innovation and Opportunities at ADP
The blog is tailored for technologists interested in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML).
“The future of learning will involve more personalization and customization based on learning styles, competencies, and preferences.”
Hear about the future of Human Capital Management Software and AI applications in the real world from Julio Hartmann, Vice President and General Manager of ADP Brazil Labs.
3) Career Journey from a Filmmaker to a Conversational Designer (CxD)
What does storytelling mean? Meet Azfar R. as he shares his inspiration and career journey from a filmmaker to a conversational designer.
“For anyone who wants to work as a conversation designer, the first step would be to understand how human-computer interactions (HCI) work.”
4) Team APIs: What They Are and Why They Matter to Teamwork
We live in a world where people always look for the next best thing.
Regarding leadership, we know that if you’re engaged with your team, they will be engaged too, which translates into a lack of passion and excitement in the products they create!
Charles explores various team management methodologies in this blog, including four different team types and three interacting models.
5) The Five Key Elements of a Product Champion
Is coding a requirement for working in tech? I come from a non-tech background. Is there a role for me at ADP Tech?
“One of the most critical tasks in product management is to track the team’s steps and measure if they will lead to the desired objectives and outcomes.”
Read the five key elements in product management and search for your next move!
6) Devi R., Senior Director of DevOps, Builds Products with Empathy
“STEM, to me, is beyond degree and credentials. It’s about applying and leveraging engineering knowledge and empathy toward every product.”
How does Day in Life look for the Senior Director, DevOps? What is a piece of advice for young technologists?
Meet Devi R., a technologist who enjoys exploring the world and inspiring others. She joined ADP in 2020, building the ADP’s flagship MyADP with her team in Global Products & Technology.
7) Life @ ADP S2EP4: Let’s Talk #ADPTech
Have you subscribed to Life@ADP? Click the play button and grab a drink.
The episode is great for associates and applicants interested in the scale ADP operates at, including the leadership teams’ strategies and their focus on data security.
Lohit Sarma, a Senior Vice President of Product Development, spoke about various areas in #ADPTech, from User Experience (UX), Security Engineering, to Site Reliability Engineering.
Life @ ADP is available on iTunes, Spotify, Google, iHeartRadio, and Amazon Music.
8) 2022 Workforce Trends – Future of Work
We identified the top trends reshaping the future of work:
Rewatch the workforce trends in 2022 here. For more insights, subscribe to the tech blog and receive monthly newsletters.
We were proud to celebrate Pride Month in June by featuring Taylor, the Information Security Project Manager, and her story of how she has always been met with kindness here at ADP.
“Everyone who celebrates love has a role in our community and this movement. Whether it is Women’s month, Pride month, or every month over, under, or in between our personal lives and our professional lives, every moment matters. You matter.”
10) APIs vs. Web Service: What’s the Difference?
We live in a digital age where almost everything is done through an API or Web Service. Have you ever wondered about the differences? What’s the future of using API standards?
We spoke to Leslie E., Senior Director of Application Development, and she shared her take on integrations for our Human Capital Management (HCM) products.
We’d like to thank our associates across the globe for contributing! From Tech Trends, Women in STEM, and Career Advice, to Award Stories, we will continue sharing stories with the community.
Don’t forget to subscribe to our tech blog and receive monthly newsletters!
Learn more about what it’s like working for ADP here and our current openings.
Voice of Our People, Career Journey, Women in STEM
Click the play button below to hear from Elaina.
“Changing careers can be scary, but it was the best thing I ever did for myself. Don’t underestimate your potential!”
Criminal Minds, CSI, Mindhunter, you name it.
For those who love true crime documentaries and podcasts, you must be familiar with the role of forensic scientist – the person in a white coat analyzing evidence as the detective rushes into the lab to verify if the fingerprints match.
Meet Elaina K., a former Forensic Scientist who took a turn in her career and landed a role at ADP.
Q: Elaina, you worked as a forensic scientist before coming to ADP. How did the journey begin?
A: I worked as a forensic scientist for more than seven years. While the forensics industry is growing in the United Kingdom, it is still very niche compared to other sectors. I reached a point where I pursued everything from analytical skills to leadership experience.
Q: Many are curious about what forensic scientists do. What type of cases have you worked on previously?
A: A part of my daily routine was to analyze and research. My team pieced evidence and helped detectives on closing cases. I remember analyzing 250 kg (about 551.16 lb) of cocaine and heroin in one case!
Q: Wow! How would you describe the turning point from forensic science to working in tech?
A: Growing up, I was always interested in technology. Tracing back to my early teen years, I developed an interest in science and pursued chemistry, biology, and physics. I knew it was time for a new change. In 2016, I saw the opportunity to work as a Technical Services Manager at ADP, and I applied immediately.
Q: Incredible. It’s been six years since you started. Why do you stay?
A: The short answer is I stay for the people. I am now the Manager of Major Incident Response, providing leadership for over 900 applications, products, and services. I wake up every day knowing what I want to deliver at work. The support I receive from my family and the ADP community is beyond imagination. I am proud to work for a company that values diversity in associates’ backgrounds and cultures.
Q: That’s powerful. What does diversity mean to you and your team?
A: As a people leader of color and a female, I value the differences and invite my team to celebrate each other’s achievements in their career journeys. I also encourage my team to mark cultural holidays on their calendars.
Q: As a people leader, what message would you like to highlight?
A: Great emotional awareness of people’s feelings and excellent interpersonal skills are required. This is especially true in management. My team now comprises six associates in the US, one in the UK, one in France, one in Brazil, and three in India. Empowering and valuing every voice is the key. If associates can’t be themselves, how can managers bring the best out of them? As a leader, I ensure they can lean on me for support and guidance.
Q: What are some overlapping qualities between working as a scientist and working as a technical manager?
A: That’s a good question. First is attention to detail. As the team creates products and services, paying attention to every detail is essential as it could impact the result for both clients and associates. The second overlapping area is people management skills. I always take time to understand my team and identify when they need support.
Q: What are some of the rewarding moments?
A: I found my sense of purpose in working and helping both associates and clients at ADP. Without it, I wouldn’t have had the strength to achieve my personal goal, which I’m proud to share – I am now a homeowner!
Q: That’s amazing! Thank you for sharing. What does #ADPTech mean to you?
A: #ADPTech is innovative and cutting-edge. I love how there are always events across Business Resource Groups (BRG) supporting associates across the globe. The culture and people make me look forward to having more diverse conversations with technologists from different industries.
Q: What tech roles do you partner with?
A: So many! From Developers, SREs, SROs, Analysts, Infrastructure engineers and teams, QA Testers, VPs, Product Owners, and Application Support to Tech support teams. We partner with every ADP location from California to Melbourne.
Q: What can incoming associates expect from ADP?
A: I value career progression, and ADP provides the environment for personal growth, including resources and benefit programs. Be prepared to work with teams both in and outside of your country. Supporting one another will keep you motivated and engaged at the time!
Q: Lastly, what is one advice for technologists from a non-traditional background?
A: I am not a developer nor a coder, but I work in tech. There are roles with great opportunities that require interpersonal skills and working with people.
If you are an applicant from a non-traditional tech background, review job descriptions carefully and don’t be afraid of the titles. An opportunity to showcase skills and talents during an interview is always helpful in landing the right role!
As people slowly return to work, Elaina is excited to meet her virtual team in the future and get to know them better outside of work. She also enjoys baking every month and making chocolate cupcakes for her family and friends.
AnitaB.org Named ADP the Top Large Company for Women Technologists
ADP’s iWIN Business Resource Group sponsored GirlHacks 2022 Hackathon
The Five Key Elements of a Product Champion
Click here to search for your next move, and visit Who We Hire.
#WomeninSTEM #DE&I #Leadership #Technologists #ForensicScience
Early Talent, Impact, Women in STEM
Celebrate National STEM/STEAM Day with ADP
ADP is a place with opportunities to grow, from supporting young talents to providing resources for women technologists.
According to Microsoft’s study in partnership with KRC research, young girls lose interest in STEM as they get older. However, the study found 63% of middle school girls who know women in STEM feel powerful doing STEM. By connecting and building their confidence in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), we can make a difference in our future workforce.
By hosting STEM events, increasing the number of STEM mentors, and building an inclusive environment, we can all take part in encouraging young talents to develop their interests in the field.
Supporting Young Talents
With a commitment to growing opportunities for women in STEM, ADP’s International Women’s Inclusion Network (iWIN) Business Resource Group (BRG) was proud to offer insight and guidance to new technologists, even before the young talents begin their careers.
ADP just participated in the amazing and successful GirlHacks 2022 Hackathon. Aini Ali, Vice President of Major Accounts Operations and member of ADP’s International Women’s Network Business Resource Group (BRG), had this to say about it, “The iWIN BRG was proud to sponsor the event that aligned closely with our mission to provide tools and a network for women and children of all ages,” Aini said.
This year’s GirlHacks, a 36-hour women-centric hackathon, featured motivational speakers, discussion panels, and mentoring programs created to inspire women and support advanced career growth. ADP iWIN BRG would like to thank the EMPOWER committee and members who generously donated their time to engage with the students. We encourage you to learn about the fantastic opportunities for collaboration and partnership our BRGs offer.
Internship: Let Talents Shine
With core values of inspiring innovation and social responsibility, team leaders and associates are constantly promoting the GPT Development programs, summer internship positions, and work opportunities across ADP. We take pride in providing resources and connecting with next-generation talents.
Nina P., a Data Science intern, met with her mentors weekly during her two-month internship at ADP. She utilized the 30-minute sessions to discuss project progress and personal growth.
“I love connecting with people both in and outside meetings. Everyone was there to share ideas and brainstorm together,” Nina said. “When I return to school, I’d encourage future interns to ask questions and reach out to as many people as possible from day one.”
Nina described her two-month data science team experience as innovative, with hands-on opportunities. She was assigned to work on projects that led her to learn new technologies. Nina also widened her area of interest in tech as she dived into using Natural Language Processing (NLP) which was not her focus of study at school.
At the end of her internship, the Data Science team was pleased to offer Nina a full-time position. “I am so happy to have accepted the position as a Data Scientist at ADP following my graduation from Georgia Institute of Technology,” Nina said. “I am thrilled to be surrounded by such a brilliant group of innovators starting in December!”
Women in Tech Scholarships
ADP sponsors scholarships to encourage women to pursue tech careers through the Women in Tech (WIT) organization, promoting STEM opportunities for young talents.
In June, ADP was a VIP sponsor of 2022 Women in Technology (WIT) Connect, one of Atlanta’s most engaging and interactive events for science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM), with over 700 top-level executives and leaders attending. This event was about giving back and supporting the development of young girls and women in STEAM. The event highlighted the WIT Girls, Campus, and Single Mothers in STEAM, awarding scholarships to the WIT Girls and WIT Campus students.
Jimmy Adams, Senior Vice President of Global Product & Technology, and Melanie Shook, Vice President/General Manager of Small Businesses Services, presented the scholarship of $15,000 to Rian T., a student in Information Technology at Georgia Gwinnett College. Rian, the WIT Campus Scholarship third place winner, would be using the scholarship to fund her studies.
As the Executive Sponsor for WIT, Melanie shared her journey helping with the WIT scholarships to her recent appointment on the WIT Advisory board.
“STEAM careers have always been part of my DNA. As an industrial engineer out of college, I made it my mission to promote the advancement of these fields and did so individually,” Melanie said.
Fast forward 20+ years later, she connected with WIT and was immediately drawn to the organization and empowering girls and women in STEAM. In addition to WIT, ADP is a National Club partner for Girls Who Code, and a sponsor for the Grace Hopper Celebration.
“I’m proud to work for a company that encourages leaders to drive an increasing presence for women in STEAM,” Jimmy said. “It’s been great watching the Atlanta WIT events and community grow over the past years.”
ADP also celebrated the current and future female leaders in tech at another WIT Awards ceremony in October. The awards included Girl of The Year, Campus of The Year, and Women of The Year, along with a WIT Build Her Up award for an individual who championed women in their networks, workplaces, and communities.
“The mission remains the same, and I can’t wait to meet the girls at the WIT Campus Next Level Up Mentorship Program closing event in Alpharetta,” Melanie said. “I’m excited to see what the future holds in our partnership.”
For the Campus Club of the Year award, we presented $5,000 to Georgia Gwinnett College as the top college campus across Georgia, recognizing their sponsorship with companies for workshops, competitions, mentorship, and internship placement.
“Providing opportunities for women in technology will enable a more diverse workforce for ADP and all technology companies in the future,” Jimmy said. “There is a lot of momentum with our WIT partnerships, and the future looks bright!”
The Future: Support Women Technologists
Women make up more than 50 percent of our workforce at ADP, and we continue encouraging them to celebrate each other’s achievements to build an inclusive culture here.
“I am passionate about ADP’s commitment to support WIT and other programs,” Manjula G., Senior Director of Product Development, said. “The opportunities allow us to foster a workplace that attracts, engages, and retains the top tech talents, building reliable and innovative HCM solutions for our clients, partners, and associates.”
Initiatives such as supporting talents and building business resource groups for women technologists have also helped ADP earn recognition from different organizations.
We are named one of the Top Companies for Women Technologists Winner for the third year by AnitaB.org. Further reading: Meet ADP Women Technologists who spoke at Grace Hopper Celebration 2022.
Celebrate National STEM Day with us! Consider volunteering, joining mentorship programs, and giving back to the communities.
#NationalSTEM/STEAMDay #GHC22 #ADPTech #WomeninSTEM #YoungTalents
Interested in a tech career at ADP?
Click here to search for your next move, and visit Who We Hire.
Innovation, Tech Trends, Machine Learning
If Picasso were to be alive in 2022, would he use Artificial Intelligence technology to make art?
AI Art: Will it Disrupt the World as We Know it?
By Amy H. Chiu, Tech Brand Content Developer
I can’t help but wonder, if Picasso were to be alive in 2022, would he use Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to make art?
With a background in visual arts, I spent sleepless nights in the art studio, sketching and studying every brushstroke. Every step in the art creation was filled with unexpected beauty. A small drop of black ink could alter the entire canvas. In traditional art forms, there was no control + z key to undo changes.
I remember Adobe visited my art community years ago and showcased a variety of digital tools from Creative Cloud. The tutorials broadened my horizon and challenged my definition of art. I experienced the power of switching pen tools and colors on the screen, including the accuracy and consistency of texture in design. The techniques would have taken hours and days in a hands-on studio, considering mixing colors, cleaning the tools, and using multiple mediums come at a cost.
Little did I know, that was just the beginning.
Fast forward to 2022 – all it takes is a few keywords and programming languages to create art.
Several weeks ago, a Colorado-based artist sparked controversy when they submitted a piece created using artificial intelligence (AI) and brought home a $300 First Prize.
By harnessing the power of machine learning algorithms, artists can now create works that would have taken hours and years to complete with traditional mediums. That said, what are the pros and cons of relying on algorithms? Let’s look at what we know about AI art and its impact.
What Defines AI Art?
AI art is any artwork created partially or entirely by artificial intelligence. In most cases, AI art is generated by algorithms, meaning artists write code or use software for the machines to learn. The algorithm then captures the style and aesthetic the artists want by reviewing thousands of existing paintings before generating one.
One of the most famous examples is “The Painting Fool,” a software that generates artwork digitally and paints in various styles. It was created by Simon Colton of Imperial College, London. Further reading: Painting Fool’s portfolio reveals artificial artist.
The Algorithm to Make AI Art
When you make AI Art, you will encounter a class of algorithms called Generative adversarial networks, or GANs. They are composed of a generator and a discriminator. The generator creates images from scratch while the discriminator evaluates them and determines whether they’re real. Both the generator and discriminator get better at their respective tasks, resulting in increasingly realistic fake images.
In other words, one may generate photographs of human faces and realistic images of animals that don’t exist in the world. GANs also translate images from sketches to color photographs and texts to images. For example, users may put in: “a small bird is purple with green and has a very long beak,” and get realistic photographs that match the description in the output. Read more examples here.
If you want to try GANs, here are a few steps. Step one is selecting several authentic images for training. Next, generate a few fake images using the generator. Step three is training the discriminator to use both real and fake ones. Lastly, generate more fake images and train the full GAN model using only counterfeit images. You may find detailed instructions and working python code here.
The Scary Side of AI Art
Technologies are evolving. They are convenient yet dangerous.
My biggest concern as a creator is to see people lose their respect and appreciation for artists. Although one may romanticize and say art is about the process and the original ideas behind it, the result matters, especially for agencies that hire graphic designers and advertising experts.
“Art? I can do that in 20 seconds with a detailed description in AI.” Hearing comments like this has impacted the motivation and the reality of artists. That’s when I think about the cost and effort art students pay to attend art schools.
What will the Dean tell future art students on their graduation day? ‘Good luck finding an art job out there and doing better than AI’? Although this may sound a little extreme, the concern remains as there are already limited career opportunities in the field.
My best friend attended the Otis College of Art and Design to become a fashion designer. The annual tuition on a full-time basis for 2020/2021 is $69,532. She always drew fashion illustrations on tablets and paper. Every shade and every detail mattered. Handing in the illustration collection late could result in a lost opportunity in a competitive internship.
If AI could do what she learned in four years and at a much faster speed with more pattern selections, was it worth it for her to pay the tuition and go through the training?
The Cost of AI Art
With AI Art in place, how does one price the work? Is it based on the artist’s fame, artwork’s material, time spent, or simply how “good” the art looks?
In 2018, an algorithm-generated painting sold for $432,000 at Christie’s, one of the world’s largest auction houses. The ‘painting’ was created by a designer using a computer. The news sure sparked intense conversations in the art communities. How should AI impact the value of the art generated? Should it be worth less? Then again, look at the price of NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens). Need we say more?
AI-generated art challenges the definition of what we call ‘art.’ Consider how NFTs and AI art are created and sold. Both use algorithms, which are a set of rules. How they are applied can produce different and unique results, sparking inspiration and controversial debates. Only time will tell what else AI can do in the realm of art, but one thing is for sure: it has brought us closer to the future.
AI Art Continues to Evolve
AI art is still relatively new, and there’s much we don’t yet know about it. However, AI is profoundly impacting the art world—creating new types of artwork and how experts judge artwork in competitions.
“I see the power in AI Art, and that makes me want to support and protect traditional artists even more,” Srinivas P., the Sr. Mainframe Developer, said. “There could be a different category for AI-generated artwork in future competitions.”
Srinivas and I also connected with Sangeetha G., an artist specializing in character drawing. “Live art competitions would be great opportunities for people to see the value of traditional art. Creating-in-progress is something computers do not show.”
Computers didn’t develop the painting concept solely on their own. AI still requires human involvement before generating the result. The algorism can take a photo of a seascape and apply the style of van Gogh’s “Starry Night.” If the user is unhappy with the result, edit the input by changing a few words and generating the “perfect” one.
It’s fair to ask: are we creating art or playing a puzzle game?
For now, the ability to produce something entirely new from scratch separates us from machines. In the future? Maybe not so much.
Innovation, Tech Trends, Machine Learning
If buying an NFT does not give you the right to reproduce and sell copies, what exactly do you own?
NFTs: The Price of Bragging Rights
Why would someone spend $2.5 million on a Link to a JPEG?
You might have already seen examples of NFTs like funny ape drawings or celebrity avatars used as an account holder’s picture on Twitter. So, who would buy a personalized digital token of a dancing bear in a tutu? Is it worth $2.5 million dollars? What value are you really getting?
First, a quick definition of an NFT:
Non-fungible token (NFT)
Units of data that are stored on a blockchain. People can buy and sell NFTs; they can be associated with unique digital files such as photos, videos, and audio.
What is the difference between buying an oil painting at a gallery and buying a bunch of 2D digital pixels?
Here’s the definition of ownership.
If you purchase a painting from a gallery, you get to take it home and hang it up in the physical world we live in. You OWN the original painting. All others may have photos or even reproductions, but they will never have that one piece of unique physical canvas. For example, Picasso’s original artwork will always be Picasso. People cannot recreate the same exact painting.
If you purchase an NFT, which could be anything from JPEG to a screenshot of a tweet, it does NOT make you the owner of the “art,” it only gives you the right to claim partial ownership. Buying an NFT does not give you the right to reproduce it and sell copies. Buyers showcase immutable public transactions on the blockchain to prove ownership. Read more: NFTs – what exactly do I own?
It’s worth pointing out that although the owner has the right to use the NFT EXCLUSIVELY, a copy of the digital art can literally ‘look’ as good as the original when people take screenshots to copy and paste the images. With a right-click to save, the copies of digital files are precisely the same as the original NFT. It comes down to the owner bragging about whether they own the original NFT.
For NFT creators, you have the right to reproduce, distribute copies, and display the work in public. However, the NFT royalties work differently. Creators earn royalties through subsequent sales in the secondary market. The transaction occurs without the need for any intermediaries. Remember, not every NFT generates royalties. Everything needs to be written on the smart contract; otherwise, the creator has no claim. Read more: What are NFT royalties?
Why do people go crazy over these?
Let’s break it down.
An NFT gives you a token of ownership on the blockchain. Rather than supporting an artist by donating to them on PayPal or BuyMeACoffee, you can support them by purchasing their NFTs in exchange for documenting your purchasing record on a public, visible ledger. A second benefit, buying an NFT may appeal to collectors who gain pleasure from owning rare, digital goods. A third benefit is that each NFT has a market value, and anyone can buy/sell NFTs. For starters, it is more accessible than investing in the housing market. New to NFTs? Here are some options to store them.
Risks in NFTs
But before you dive right in, consider the risks of buying and selling NFTs. If you want to purchase one to support an artist, ask if the value you derive from ownership aligns with what it means to own an NFT. There are business opportunists who create NFTs from written codes, disregarding the meaning of art creation. For example, the 10000 Lazy Lions NFTs with different combinations of eyes, clothing, and mane are made from randomly generated codes instead of careful craftsmanship from artists.
Another danger is the way we are using NFTs. Before the pandemic, everyone from organizations to influencers jumps on trends trying to chase the cash. For example, agents have produced NFT from past photographs and artwork of the famous deceased to “celebrate” their legacy using them in the NFT market.
Many are predicting this could be the next housing bubble. Has it started to crash? What do you think? Something to consider before purchasing that dancing bear in a tutu.
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We’re hiring! Learn more about what it’s like working for ADP here and our current openings.
Voice of Our People, Career Insights, What We Do
“At ADP, the doors to learning are always open. We work and win as one. All it takes is one’s curiosity to learn.”
My Career Journey: Learn and Grow Together at ADP
Viplove S. is a Senior Architect responsible for Architecture, Standards, Governance, and Talent Management, supporting products for National Accounts Services clients in Hyderabad, India. To him, happiness means spending time with family, giving his best at work, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Outside of technology, Viplove enjoys exercising, singing, dancing, reading, and writing stories. He once walked the entire Manhattan Island length, around 18 miles!
Coming to ADP
Since I stepped into the Information Technology (IT) industry, ADP has been one organization I was always curious about. What appealed to me the most was ADP’s strong focus on people. After fifteen years of working with multiple service organizations, I decided to knock on the door I had walked by all these years. An opportunity to learn about a new industry and its leading products was too exciting for me to pass.
I joined ADP a little over two and a half years ago. As I look back at my enriching journey, two contributory factors stand out: People and Learning. Without People, there would not have been much learning. I have worked with many amazing people in my career, but here at ADP, every day gives me reasons to thank a fellow associate. Whether developers, testers, Site Reliability Engineers (SRE) members, managers, architects, or senior leaders, I am grateful for learning with them every day.
My Career Journey
I initially started as part of the Global Enterprise Technologies & Solutions (GETS) department, which supports IT operations for ADP. The teams I work with are responsible for developing and maintaining 50+ applications used by ADP associates and 100+ integrations among internal ADP systems and external vendors. It is easily one of the most complex systems I have ever worked with, and my job was to transform it digitally. I was fortunate to have people around me who were not only knowledgeable but also extremely helpful.
Two years ago, my team and I moved to the Global Product & Technology (GPT) business unit as part of the Product Development organization that supports large national accounts. For me, this move opened a world of opportunities. My manager helped me seize one of those opportunities. He challenged me to reach beyond my scope of work and help another team. Sometimes, saying “yes” is all it takes.
And it did. That “yes” triggered a domino effect for me. That door opened another, and I worked with multiple product teams across ADP. Because of that, I am proud that my journey has led me to become a Chief Architect for our GPT National Account Services team in India. In this role, I’m responsible for the architecture and quality of ADP’s top products in HR, Payroll, Time, and Talent for our largest clients.
Architect Mentorship Program
Another part of my new responsibilities is helping other associates grow. We recently kicked off an Architect Mentorship program for my business unit, the National Account Services Architect Academy (NASAA). As a part of this program, we shortlisted 11 talented associates who have demonstrated excellence in their projects and aspire to be architects. Each of the mentees is assigned a mentor who is currently in an architect role within the organization. The mentorship is multi-fold:
1) The mentees go through a hand-picked Udemy curriculum that covers the fundamentals of being an architect, the various technologies that support our products, and the soft skills essential for the architect role.
2) Mentee and mentor connect weekly. The mentor guides the mentee on their learning, shares real-world experiences, helps solve problems, provides feedback, and more.
3) The Academy meets monthly where a senior Architect Leader (from outside the business unit) shares their career journey with the mentees and how they solved large-scale business problems.
4) The program culminates with the mentees picking a real-world business problem, working on architectural artifacts to solve it, and presenting their work to senior leaders.
Mentees graduate from the Academy in a grand ceremony. After graduation, they are assigned architectural responsibilities within their projects as on-the-job training. The idea is to produce well-equipped architects through this program within one year. Having benefited hugely from my mentors and colleagues, I am excited and committed to the mentorship program’s success.
Designing for People
ADP has taken giant leaps in its transformation into a Technology company. One of the things that makes it possible is our commitment to people. Domains and technologies are out there for anyone to learn. But the 59,000+ ADPers helping 920K+ clients in more than 140 countries give our company the foundation to stand tall among its competitors. Our network is strong and built on core values, including “Each Person Counts” and “Integrity is Everything.”
Supporting & Learning Culture
At ADP, the doors to learning are always open. If you are curious, nothing can stop you. What makes ADP stand out from the other organizations I have worked with is our culture of “learning and growing together.” Despite being a multi-national company, we don’t have boundaries separating us.
Our excitement and cooperation are the same whether speaking to an associate in India, the U.S., or Europe. We work and win as one. If I need information or to learn something, I can reach out to anyone, whether I’ve worked with them before or not. All it takes is a quick ping on our collaboration platform. We are all connected! All it takes is one’s curiosity to learn.
I’m endlessly excited and curious about our vast HCM industry and all the exciting technologies we use as part of our products. Between that and my ever-helpful colleagues, I keep learning.
ADP Tech, Hyderabad, Integration Architecture, Mentorship, Career Growth
Impact, Innovation, Brazil Labs
We look forward to South Summit Brazil 2023, where top speakers worldwide share their expertise and leaders look for business opportunities.
Porto Alegre: Home to ADP Brazil Labs
Porto Alegre, the capital of Rio Grande do Sul, is home to one of ADP’s Technology and Innovation labs in the South of Brazil. The city has an estimated population of 1,492,530 (about the population of West Virginia in the U.S.). Known for offering tourism and leisure time, Porto Alegre features several urban parks with green areas that attract those looking to enjoy nature and history.
In 2022, Porto Alegre celebrated its 250th birthday with enthusiasm and vitality. The city is constantly developing and becoming a hub for generating new technology-based businesses and attracting and retaining talent. Join our community to follow our events and what we are developing at the Labs.
May 2022 – South Summit Brazil
The first South Summit Brazil took place in Porto Alegre as the world continued to recover from the global pandemic. The global entrepreneurship and innovation event started in Spain ten years ago and is now an international conference.
The public and private sectors, academics, and other institutions collaborated to make it happen, all contributing to positioning Porto Alegre as a global innovation player. The numbers were awe-inspiring, with 20,000+ visitors representing more than 50 countries, 500 presenters, and 1,000 submissions to the startup competition.
We look forward to South Summit Brazil 2023, where top speakers worldwide share their expertise and leaders look for business opportunities. The summit will take place from March 29 to 31 next year. Learn more about the event here.
Introducing Instituto Caldeira
Instituto Caldeira, also known as the “Boiler Institute,” is a non-profit organization for creativity and communication. The hub provides an opportunity for people to network together to improve the new economy and innovative ecosystem of Porto Alegre and the state of Rio Grande do Sul.
It was founded by forty-two major companies in 2017 that refurbished the old industrial complex for innovation activities and the new economy. The complex still houses the boilers imported from Europe back when prominent businessman AJ Renner started it over 100 years ago!
With only a little over a year of operation, it has already hosted an impressive number of activities. The Boiler comprises more than 22K sqm of space, 42 corporate founders, 330 affiliated companies, 700 startups in the ecosystem, and 15 national and international associated hubs.
ADP Brazil Labs Offsite
In early June, Julio Hartmann, VP of ADP Brazil Labs, and his Senior Leadership Team (SLT) team met for a strategy meeting at Instituto Caldeira. It was an excellent opportunity for the team to get together in person after two years of working remotely. Everyone was impressed with Instituto Caldeira’s structure and the initiatives, looking forward to expanding collaboration in the future.
Julio began the leadership offsite by discussing the content from the Global Product & Technology (GP&T) Leadership Summit. Julio proposed a transformational strategy for the Labs to connect better and leverage the external ecosystem. The plan included presentations from some development leaders about their groups, from Workforce Now (WFN), DataCloud, NextGen (core platforms and Centers of Excellence), and myCareerConnect, to ADP Ventures. There were also presentations about cross-organizational areas and initiatives, such as Product, UX, Agility, Innovation, and the Machine Learning CoE.
Data Science Guild
The Data Scientists from the Brazil Labs worked together in the Data Science Guild, an internal group created in 2018. They meet biweekly to discuss recent papers on machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI). The meeting helped them share knowledge and work together more effectively, including Data Analysts and Data Engineers from various ADP product teams like Roll, DataCloud, myCareerConnect, WFN, and Marketplace.
Innovation time was a moment for the leaders to think about how the companies stay relevant in the future, reinforcing the innovative culture throughout the labs. The leaders plan to accelerate new opportunities from various sources, including employee ideas, discoveries from client needs, and technological advances.
UX at Brazil Labs
The leaders from ADP Brazil Labs met with the User Experience (UX) team to understand the balance between UX and other areas, including the development concept guided by Triads that gave our digital product development a more organized structure.
The team talked about how the area has been growing quickly in recent years and an overview of team size and the project distribution. The leaders and the team ensured the UX team had the resources for product decision-making.
It was exciting to see the Brazil team’s participation grow within our global UX equation. We grew approximately 150% in the number of projects we participated with even more planned for the future. For example, we launched a local talent strategy and workstreams initiative, aligning with the GPT talent vision and Objectives and key results (OKRs). The positive result has led us to work hard on structuring and supporting our strategies.
Porto Alegre, Instituto Caldeira, Data Science, South Summit, South Summit Porto Alegre
Voice of Our People, Career Advice, Career Insights
“To me, ADP is a tech-first company where innovations are always welcomed and are prioritized first.”
To Boomerang or not to Boomerang: How to Determine if Returning to a Company is the Right Choice?
According to a recent article, The Rise Of Boomerang Employees During 2022, published by Forbes, experts noticed a rising number of boomerang workers—meaning people who left their jobs and are returning to the same company.
We recently met David C., Senior Director of Application Development, at our tech New Hire training and discovered his boomerang story and learned more about his career journey. With more than 20 years of experience in a wide range of technologies, including DevOps Solutions, Datacenter Architecture, Product Architecture, Storage Architecture, Cloud Architecture, virtualization technologies, Active/Active, and Standard Disaster Recovery Solutions, David shares key elements to consider before returning to a company.
Coming to ADP
David’s ADP career began in 2000 when he worked as a consultant in product engineering, installing web-based applications into the hosting center. He had different roles throughout his career and landed in Development, leading MyADP/Mobile DevOps teams.
“I went from analyzing products for installing, building, and testing Disaster Recovery Sites to working for client support, infrastructure, deployment delivery, automating process, and moving to AWS,” David said. “It’s always fulfilling to grow with different teams at ADP!”
His team worked to support production clients and development groups for deployments, delivery, performance, and monitoring, where they tracked the daily health of all environments residing in the hosting centers.
Migrating all our data center from Roseland to Bridgewater in 2002 was a memorable milestone in his career. “I was so proud to receive the President’s Award for growing our data centers to support our products,” David said.
Over the next few years, he worked with more teams and helped launch the MyADP product. David was extremely honored and proud to be nominated for ADP President’s Club hosted in Spain, where they celebrated Sales and IT’s achievement in 2014.
Taking a Turn
David’s career journey took a turn in 2019 when he left ADP to work in DevOps for a bank, supporting more than 150,000 users. The new environment was a growth experience for him.
“I’ve learned about supporting structure, especially crisis management and reliability-related topics in the banking industry,” David said.
A significant difference he noticed between working for a bank and ADP was our environment and emphasis on tech. “I value our focus on tech. To me, ADP is a tech-first company where innovations are always welcomed and are prioritized first,” David said.
It was difficult for him to leave ADP after 19 years, and he’s so glad to be back. “I came back after two years at the bank. The leadership teams at ADP always make me feel included. Friendships and the culture were the biggest reasons I decided to come back,” David said. “The bonds you build at work are irreplaceable.”
Boomerang Self-Assessment Questions
We were curious about David’s decision-making process before he returned and asked him to share some insights.
He gave us these five questions to ask before returning to a previous employer:
1) Why did you leave the company?
2) Has the direction of the company changed since you left?
3) Were you concerned about the company’s previous direction? What were the concerns?
4) What role are you taking when you return? Are you moving to a position you previously couldn’t?
5) Do you see yourself growing in the new position? Does the path lead you to the future you envision?
You might be interested in exploring other good reasons for returning to your former employer. Recommended reading: What to Do When You’re Returning to a Company You Used to Work For by Harvard Business Review.
Returning to ADP
David took a big step by returning, and he’s happy to grow his career within DevOps as they build the infrastructure for automation. When we asked for details on why he returned, he shared with us how amazing it was to see the teams expanding in a great direction. During his two years away, the team continued building a solid support system for clients. Every day was a learning experience through virtual, in-person networking and mentorship.
“As an associate, I enjoy working at an organization where they value each employee, providing guidance and support programs,” David said. “I was especially grateful for ADP’s support in my education. I worked full-time while taking classes online and graduated with an Associate Degree in Business Administration.” The balance between family, work, and personal growth is the foundation for David’s passion as a Senior Director of Application Development at ADP.
Welcome back, David!
Learn more about working at ADP here and our current openings.