Artificial intelligence (AI) has great potential to become the new norm in hiring, training, and many other human resources (HR) tasks. Many experts are touting AI as the solution to hiring biases. After all, a machine can’t make human assumptions – or can it? While many believe AI can eliminate biases and achieve truly objective hiring decisions, others aren’t so sure. The people who program AI machines are humans, so there is a chance their biases will bleed through. Here’s a look at the role AI might play in the future of HR.
AI and Hiring: Does It Really Take Humans Out of the Equation?
Machines taking over HR can at first glance seem like a perfect solution to the implicit biases all of humanity shares. Replacing human hiring managers with robots would seem to take human error and assumptions out of the equation. Using an automated, AI-driven program to screen candidates would get rid of the cultural and personal biases humans have ingrained in them – at least in theory.
AI HR processes would use only certain pieces of data about each candidate to make hiring decisions. For example, the machine would only process data relating to the individual’s work experience and education, rather than his/her gender, race, location, or other factors that could lead to biases. Furthermore, AI machines could use criteria such as Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidelines to aid hiring processes.
Some establishments are taking AI HR a step further than just candidate screening, using artificial intelligence to help with interviewing as well. AI products that can create interview questions may be able to help add a level of objectivity that humans cannot attain. An AI interviewer would be impartial in the questions that it asks. In these ways, it would seem that AI has the power to eliminate biased hiring. But does it really?
The Potential (Human) Problem With Unbiased AI
Surely, using a machine to crunch only relevant data would result in fewer hiring biases than a human HR manager, but there is no guarantee the process is perfect. The risk of human error still exists. Since humans are involved in programming AI hiring systems, these humans could impart their biases – unintentionally and unconsciously – into the AI software.
Just as humans have unconscious hiring biases, they could also have unconscious biases in the AI programs they create. For this reason, employers and HR managers should proceed cautiously into the realm of AI-powered hiring, until more evidence of its success is available. Until then, use more tried-and-true methods to help facilitate inclusion at your company.