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By Diganta Chakrabarti
In October 2018, a Reuters report revealed that global e-commerce leader Amazon had to quietly discard an Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithm, developed in-house for hiring employees – when they realized that the tool discriminated against women candidates, particularly for technology jobs. The Seattle, USA headquartered organisation, with more than 575,000 employees across the globe at the time of this report being published, had been using this contentious programme for years for its recruiting process. For a company renowned for setting benchmarks in the use of advanced technology in its operations, the evidence of gender-bias in its AI application must have been uncomfortable, to say the least. Whereas this exposure came as a nasty surprise to many, it gave credence to sceptical anti-AI activism on the other side. The report definitely intensified the already existing debate about the effectiveness of AI for hiring.
Actually, developments at Amazon did not surprise many experts who had already warned about the grey (or is it dark?) side of the ever-expanding application of AI in hiring. Around the world, the application of AI in staffing industry is now ubiquitous – and the practice is not only limited to large global MNCs like Amazon. Undoubtedly, human resource departments of organisations and staffing/executive…
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