NEXT TIME you're applying for your dream job, you should know that your fate could lie with a machine.
According to The Telegraph, UK companies have started using artificial intelligence (AI) not just to assess you, but to actually interview you.
As you'd expect, it's the big multinationals that are first off the starting blocks with this cutting edge tech. Unilever, makers of Sunsilk shampoo and Magnum ice creams (though hopefully not at the same time) have employed a system called Hirevue.
The makers claim that it offers a more comprehensive view than simply relying on a CV and a human-led interview. In fact, research shows that Hirevue and services like it can actually help predict future performance, not just how good the candidate is in an interview.
It also claims to offer a less biased view of the world - an interesting premise given the ongoing debate over the introduction of unintentional biases into artificial intelligence learning models.
The system works by asking candidates to record answers to interview questions on their phone or laptop. The system then looks at everything from facial cues to the quality of the answer to give a better idea if you're the perfect fit for the job.
However, as you'd expect, there are a lot of concerns over how reliable and indeed how unbiased such a system could actually be. Many believe that it's impossible for a human, capable of unconscious biases, to avoid teaching a system their own bad habits. Just ask Amazon.
Hirevue says that it has already been used for over 100,000 interviews in the UK alone. It looks at things like vocabulary and use of tenses as part of the process. In total it looks at 350 features, creating 25,000 data points in a 15-minute video interview.
But although this process is probably fine for low-level workers, for executives, managers and creatives, one of the things that an interviewer will always seek is an 'x-factor' - a 'je ne sais quoi' that no algorithm can spot.
It could be that the right person doesn't conform to the template that the hiring manager was given. If we stop interviewing people personally, that kind of maverick may slip through the cracks. µ
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