Tag Archive | "Staff"

Thinking About Using AI to Recruit New Staff? Amazon’s Failed Experiment Might Have You Thinking Twice

Companies that are planning to use artificial intelligence for recruitment should think twice before doing that. A new report revealed that Amazon’s AI machine learned gender bias and weeded out women as potential job candidates. The machine even downgraded applicants based on the school they attended.

A growing number of employers are using AI to boost the efficiency of their hiring process. The machine can be utilized to evaluate resumes, narrow down a list of applicants, and recommend candidates for the right post within a company. It can then pass on its findings to its live counterpart for human assessment. While AI is an effective tool for screening resumes, it has been shown to develop bias, as proven by Amazon’s experiment.

Reuters reported that the retail giant spent several years developing an AI that would vet job applicants. The machine was trained to look at the resumes that the company received for the past ten years. But as most of these applications were from male applicants, the patterns the AI identified were strongly oriented to that sex. In short, Amazon’s AI learned gender bias.

For instance, the AI developed a preference for terms like “captured” or “executed,” which were words commonly used by male engineers. The machine also began to penalize applications that included the word “women” or “women’s.” So describing yourself as the head of the “women’s physics club” was a strike against you.

A source familiar with Amazon’s AI program also admitted that the machine even downgraded applicants who graduated from two all-women’s universities. The names of the universities were not specified in the report.

The bias shown by the AI’s algorithm became noticeable a year after the project started, and Amazon admittedly tried to correct its AI. The company’s engineers initially edited the system to make it neutral to these specific words. However, there was no way of proving that the machine would not learn another way to sort candidates in a discriminatory manner.

The project was eventually shelved in 2017 because company executives lost confidence in it. The AI also reportedly failed at providing choices for strong and effective job candidates.

Fortunately for Amazon, the AI hiring experiment was just a trial run. The machine was never utilized by a larger group and was never used as the main recruiting agent. Nevertheless, the possibility is high that a qualified applicant was weeded out simply because she was a woman and did not think to use a masculine term like “capture.”

[Featured image via Pexels]

The post Thinking About Using AI to Recruit New Staff? Amazon’s Failed Experiment Might Have You Thinking Twice appeared first on WebProNews.


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Search Engine Land’s Community Corner: Staff changes at SEL, a new Google Twitter account to follow, and an awards reminder

This week brings a warm hello and a fond goodbye within the Search Engine Land team, along with another channel to stay up to date on Google search info, the Search Engine Land Awards and more honors for the search marketing community. Search Engine Land staff changes Good night and good luck, Jess…



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StumbleUpon Cuts 30% Of Staff, All Company Areas Affected

StumbleUpon has laid off 30% of its staff, as reported earlier by TechCrunch, who interviewed CFO and interim CEO Mark Bartels. The company has been reduced to 75 employees (down from 110).

StumbleUpon’s Mike Mayzel tells WebProNews, “StumbleUpon is restructuring to enable the company to become more streamlined, focused and to better execute against its goals in 2013. As a result of these changes, the company will be profitable and will operate more quickly and efficiently and experiment more aggressively. We continue to grow and remain focused on providing the best discovery experience on the Web.”

According to the TechCrunch report, the company’s revenu has grown by 300% over the last three years. In recent months it has pushed out some major new products, like a big overhaul of its website, and new apps for iOS, Android and Windows 8, all complete with new discoverability features that really do make StumbleUpon itself more of a destination in addition to sending users all around the web.

As far as that referral traffic goes, a repor in November indicated that it was sending less traffic to sites, which StumbleUpon assured us was actually wrong, and that traffic was increasing.

Mayzel says the restructuring affects all areas of the company, including engineering, product and marketing.


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