Equal Employment Opportunity Threatened by Artificial Intelligence?

Equal employment opportunity is in greatdanger because employers decided to use artificial intelligence and itsjudgment to hire employees. Videos and games are specially constructed and formthe so-called “pre-employment” procedure and decide the fate of job candidates.

According to the Electronic PrivacyInformation Center, HireVue, a company that comes from Utah appears to haveplans about this program and that is already using some form of artificialintelligence while hiring. The Center has already asked the Federal TradeCommission to further investigate the case. In their case, it is clearly statedthat video interview and game-based challenges are being used.

HireVue on the other hand praises about thework they do on their website. The information about the companies they workwith is online and among them are Hilton, JP Morgan Chase, Delta Air Lines,Vodafone and many more. Their site also states that the company has hosted morethan 10 million interviews and millions of evaluations so far. 

So, why is this successful company onblast? The Center says that they decided to file a complaint because there area lot of lawsuits in recent years. Job applicants say that employers are usingsoftware algorithms to target younger workers. According to them, older workersare discriminated against by the algorithms they use. Besides data points,intonation, inflection, and emotions are gathered from candidate videointerviews and later are compared with the company’s top employees.

HireVue denies these allegations and saysthat the algorithmic evaluations bring them only insights about theircandidates’ communication skills and personality traits.

On the contrary, the Center says that itsresults are prejudiced. Their complaint focuses on women, minorities and olderworkers in general.

Let’s focus on video game assessments. Weall know that many older workers do not play video games and that the averageage of players is in the mid-30s. Even if they do, they will be significantlyslower and less skilled than younger gamers. HireVue’s Chief TechnologyOfficer, Loren Larsen, defended her company by saying that the games were beingused only to determine the emotional IQ.

The Electronic Privacy Information Centeralso adds that HireVue gathers facial data as well and it determinesexpressions of emotions and personality. What about overweight people or peoplethat have depression or people whose mother language is not English? If youswim deeper there are the candidates with autism that avoid eye contact andusually look into people’s mouths.

 Atthe same time, they partnered with Integrate Autism Employment Advisors, anonprofit organization that helps corporations and builds bridges ofunderstanding between them and candidates with autism. Is this necessary givingthe fact that they are using an algorithm?

The Center mentioned Amazon and their AIrecruiting tool. The tool was a fiasco and preferred male candidates overwomen. All resumes which had the word “women” were dropped and thankfullyAmazon after learning this was happening abandoned the tool.

Unfortunately, the algorithm HireVue use isa secret. Nobody knows what type of algorithm this is thus nobody knows for ifthey discriminate or not. The Electronic Privacy Information Center says thatHireVue does not have hard evidence to support their denial and that they arerightfully charged. Plus it is worth mentioning the fact that they do not meetminimal standards for AI.