With companies getting piles of resumes every day, one of the biggest companies in the world has figured out an easier way to sort through potential applicants. Amazon has created an AI computer program that reviews job applications with the goal of finding the top talent from their applicants.
Automation has been the key to Amazon’s success both with their e-commerce business and other factors such as delivery and warehouse services. Amazon’s new way to hire applicants ranked candidates on a 1 to 5 star scale similar to how people rate products or services.
Many people working on the project said that the leaders of the company desperately wanted this AI software where it could process 100 applicants and spit out the top 5 and those are the people that would be hired. However a year after its launch in 2015, Amazon realized that the software was showing bias against female candidates in the software developer areas as well as other technical areas.
The bias came about due to the software looking for patterns and trends from the company’s history and prioritizing applicants that were similar. As the company has also been hit with being dominant for the past decade, the AI naturally prioritized men as they were similar.
As it learnt to favor men, the AI started to penalize resumes that included the term women in cases such as “women’s head coach”.
Once the bug had been discovered the team running the project has disbanded and the program was decommissioned. Amazon declined to comment on the challenge’s the tool faced.
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