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Your Next Job Interview Could Be With a Racist Bot (thedailybeast.com) 334

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Daily Beast: Companies across the nation are now using some rudimentary artificial intelligence, or AI, systems to screen out applicants before interviews commence and for the interviews themselves. As a Guardian article from March explained, many of these companies are having people interview in front of a camera that is connected to AI that analyzes their facial expressions, their voice and more. One of the top recruiting companies doing this, Hirevue, has large customers like Hilton and Unilever. Their AI scores people using thousands of data points and compares it to the scores of the best current employees. But that can be unintentionally problematic. As Recode pointed out, because most programmers are white men, these AI are actually often trained using white male faces and male voices. That can lead to misperceptions of black faces or female voices, which can lead to the AI making negative judgments about those people. The results could trend sexist or racist, but the employer who is using this AI would be able to shift the blame to a supposedly neutral technology. Companies are also having people do their first interview with an AI chatbot. "One popular AI that does this is called Mya, which promises a 70 percent decrease in hiring time," reports The Daily Beast. "Any number of questions these chatbots could ask could be proxies for race, gender or other factors."
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Your Next Job Interview Could Be With a Racist Bot

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  • Blind hiring (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 22, 2018 @10:13AM (#56483301)

    We have sexist hiring now. What about all those blind hiring trials that ended up hiring more men... and then got cancelled and the result buried ASAP.

    So we do have sexist hiring now... just not the kind feminists want to talk about.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      More so, this won't change anything. Anyone who thinks these algorithms won't be tweaked by the females in HR and Asian males in management to satisfy the Jewish men who own the media is silly.

      Don't worry your silly little heads liberals, affirmative action won't go away ...

    • Hey, That's a new way big companies can throw money at MS: Use Tay for their job interviews.
      What. could. possibly. go. wrong?
      Tay is cool

    • by vlad30 ( 44644 )
      They said it in the summary they used there best employees to make the template for what they want in an employee lets guess what the best employees were.

      And today, One of my supervisors sent a worker home likely not to return after starting a disgraceful shouting fit that had nothing to do with work (more to do with conspiracy theories go figure) Last week was a no show on 3 days (didn't wake up to go to work) and his parting words he was sent home due to favouritism and racism he is 1/8 aboriginal and q

  • TRANSLATION: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 22, 2018 @10:20AM (#56483323)

    Translation: The sick freaks of the left are concerned that AI's will not be front-loaded with the politically-correct amount of anti-white bias, as defined by shrieking fascist moron SJW's.

  • by ZorinLynx ( 31751 ) on Sunday April 22, 2018 @10:25AM (#56483339) Homepage

    I know somebody looking for a retail job. She would walk into stores and ask if they're hiring, only to be directed to a website where you have to fill out some massive 100 question test and hope that your name is picked by some algorithm for the manager to call and arrange an interview.

    She must not fit the computerized profile that the tests are looking for, because she rarely got called back. It's been a frustrating and dehumanizing experience.

    My mother said that when she was looking for retail jobs in the 60s and 70s, it was easy as hell. See a "Help Wanted" sign, walk inside, talk to the manager, have a quick interview, and if they liked you, you were hired. You didn't even need a freaking resume. It was a much more sensible experience.

    I work in IT and I think computers are neat and have changed the world in many ways for the better. But holy shit have they totally fucked up other things.

    • My mother said that when she was looking for retail jobs in the 60s and 70s, it was easy as hell. See a "Help Wanted" sign, walk inside, talk to the manager, have a quick interview, and if they liked you, you were hired.

      Well, I saw someone do that a few months ago in a smaller store at the mall, so maybe your friend needs to try different places.

    • by ooloorie ( 4394035 ) on Sunday April 22, 2018 @11:22AM (#56483665)

      My mother said that when she was looking for retail jobs in the 60s and 70s, it was easy as hell.

      We have let in 20-30 million low skilled workers since then. That's why the supply of low skilled workers is high and exceeds demand.

      Another reason for computerizing these hires is to remove the possibility of bias and to comply with regulations. Companies don't want to be accused of civil rights violations, illegal questions, or sexual harassment, and computerized interviews avoid that.

      But holy shit have they totally fucked up other things.

      This isn't the fault of computers, it's the fault of progressive government policies that backfired.

      You want one-on-one interviews? Reduce the supply of low-skilled workers and reduce the stifling regulations and legal risks that surround hiring.

      • by burtosis ( 1124179 ) on Sunday April 22, 2018 @12:04PM (#56483857)
        Free college for all would solve the low skilled worker crisis for 1/3 the cost of a single petty war we carry out on nations who never attacked us or are guilty of anything but having natural resources.
        • by ooloorie ( 4394035 ) on Sunday April 22, 2018 @12:46PM (#56484065)

          Free college for all would solve the low skilled worker crisis for 1/3 the cost of a single petty war we carry out on nations who never attacked us or are guilty of anything but having natural resources.

          Free college doesn't turn low skilled workers into high skilled workers.

          • by Anonymous Coward

            Free college would be embarassing. A shocking majority of the public would refuse because they are too stupid and/or lazy to attempt it. I moved to a more-rust-belt area of the country about 17 years ago. There are really beligerant stupid people here, and a weird sort of calvinism where the work ethic is strong, but ambition is viewed with suspicion. Most of my in-laws have only a high school education. One nephew who got a full athletic scolarship dropped out when it became clear he'd not become a sports

        • by RandomFactor ( 22447 ) on Sunday April 22, 2018 @12:58PM (#56484141)

          College isn't free. Wars end.

          Entitlements are forever.

          Making University a part of public education would be funded by increasing the multi-generational debt incurred by all the "free" things the taxpayer is already on the hook for. It would also push much skilled hiring to the graduate school level thereby delaying entry into the workforce. If everyone has a batchelor's degree, then noone does. This would have the effect of reducing the working lifetime of employees in skilled labor markets making the country less competitive and potentially offsetting any gains.

      • by Ed Tice ( 3732157 ) on Sunday April 22, 2018 @12:17PM (#56483905)
        Although your comment is quite valid in that the markets for various low-skilled labor do have an effect on each other, very few low-skilled immigrants work retail where English/Spanish language skills are fairly important. They may stock the shelves, though. Most low-skill immigrants work physically demanding jobs that natives won't take like meat processing and agriculture.
        • very few low-skilled immigrants work retail where English/Spanish language skills are fairly important

          Hence I didn't claim that low skilled workers were directly taking this particular woman's job. But she is a low skilled worker in a glut of low skilled workers, and the fact that she speaks English doesn't give her much of an advantage.

        • by DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) on Sunday April 22, 2018 @02:41PM (#56484681) Homepage

          Natives "won't take" such jobs because they're underpaid and dangerous, due to the massive number of illegals working for less than minimum wage. If industry had to pay prevailing wages and adhere to all US laws, magically people would appear out of the woodwork to staff those jobs.

          If we actually have a shortage of workers, let Congress determine that this is so and make a guest worker program for them. Apply for the visa in Mexico City, enter America legally, employers pay fair wages, workers receive all US legal protections. Everybody wins. Well, except the shit industries that operate illegal, dangerous work environments, they'd lose. But fuck them.

        • by blind biker ( 1066130 ) on Sunday April 22, 2018 @04:09PM (#56485023) Journal

          Most low-skill immigrants work physically demanding jobs that natives won't take like meat processing and agriculture.

          This is a logical fallacy repeated everywhere around the world, no doubt helped by those with money and power: physically demanding jobs would be gladly taken by "natives" if the pay were attractive. The main reason the pay hasn't been attractive, though, is because of low-skilled immigrant workers accepting lower pay for those jobs.

          Logically, there is no actual reason for such jobs not to be paid well, especially if it's hard to find people willing to do them. Simple supply and demand. This is now changing because those jobs will be automatized/robotized, but up until very recently and in many cases still today, the only reason the jobs are paid poorly is because of a large supply of people willing to do them for less money.

          • by mjwx ( 966435 ) on Monday April 23, 2018 @08:14AM (#56487467)

            Most low-skill immigrants work physically demanding jobs that natives won't take like meat processing and agriculture.

            This is a logical fallacy repeated everywhere around the world, no doubt helped by those with money and power: physically demanding jobs would be gladly taken by "natives" if the pay were attractive. The main reason the pay hasn't been attractive, though, is because of low-skilled immigrant workers accepting lower pay for those jobs.

            It isn't a logical fallacy.

            Immigrants tend to take jobs that otherwise wouldn't exist. Tories in the UK love to complain about Johnny Foreigner coming over here to take jobs and strangle the NHS but dont ever think twice about paying the Polish lady to clean their house for them, the Romanian to wash their car and the Bulgarian who does mows their lawn far less than a Briton would accept. What many of these slightly upper middle class complainers fail to realise as they talk out one side of their mouths about the evil immigrunts, is that were all the Romanians, Poles and Bulgarians were to suddenly up sticks and go home because they cant work here any more, they'll have to start cleaning their own homes, washing their own cars and mowing their own lawns.

            I'm an Australian who lives in the UK. In Australia we're free of these evil foreigners who are willing to work for less than an Australian would. So I used to wash my own car because an Australian asked A$50 p/h, vacuum my own floors because an Australian charged A$30 p/h and mercifully, the housemate did the gardens (claims he enjoyed it). Now I live in the UK, a housekeeper once a week is included in the rent, I can pay a paltry £7 to get my car washed and gardening is someone else's problem too (the landlords). Point in short, British people wont start doing these jobs, the jobs will simply disappear because most people cant afford to pay what a British person will ask.

    • These forms are often used to actively discriminate, because their operation is opaque and it is extremely difficult to prove anything when the computer says no.

      For example, they often ask what your highest level of education is. Never mind if you have decades of experience and professional certifications, if you didn't get an undergraduate degree you get instantly declined. That can make it very hard for people who have the skills but didn't go the traditional university+debt mountain route. You can't even write a cover letter to get your foot in the door.

      • by ooloorie ( 4394035 ) on Sunday April 22, 2018 @11:49AM (#56483775)

        These forms are often used to actively discriminate, because their operation is opaque and it is extremely difficult to prove anything when the computer says no.

        You are probably right: these forms are probably used to avoid being accused of racial discrimination and to meet diversity quotas and affirmative action goals. That is, they actively discriminate, precisely in order to ensure that they are complying with the law.

        For example, they often ask what your highest level of education is. Never mind if you have decades of experience and professional certifications, That can make it very hard for people who have the skills but didn't go the traditional university+debt mountain route.

        If you have decades of experience, you have referrals; you don't need to answer computerized questions or forms. If you have neither a degree nor referrals, you are indeed not interesting to most companies.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          If you have decades of experience, you have referrals

          Not so much in retail and many other sectors, and especially if you have to move.

          It's also hard if you switched careers at some point, or if you just didn't go the usual university route into something like software development but are still able to do it and demonstrate that knowledge. University is not the only way to acquire that knowledge.

          There is also just straight up laziness. Retain management jobs that list a degree as a requirement because they can't be bothered to determine if you can do basic ari

          • by ooloorie ( 4394035 ) on Sunday April 22, 2018 @12:45PM (#56484057)

            There is also just straight up laziness. Retain management jobs that list a degree as a requirement because they can't be bothered to determine if you can do basic arithmetic or check your reading comprehension.

            Yes, they can't be bothered, because hiring itself takes time and money, and hiring managers have better things to do than to look for people who are qualified despite having inferior credentials.

        • "If you have decades of experience, you have referrals;"

          You have referrals mostly from a) the people that just caused you to be looking for work, b) people who failed to hire you when they had a chance to, and c) people who never offered you anything in the first place. If a hiring manager calls your references they are at least going to fish for the reason why you are on the job market. These people have decisions to justify so that they look good if they find themselves looking for work and they lose noth

    • by kenh ( 9056 ) on Sunday April 22, 2018 @12:09PM (#56483875) Homepage Journal

      The competition for retail jobs has changed since the 60s.

      There was an article a few years ago about a McDonald's franchisee that made the comment that he was hiring only college graduates for counter/other jobs. The press twisted the story to be "you need to have a college degree to get a job at McDonalds". The reality was that when he was hiring he was swamped with applications, the easiest filter was to weed out folks without college degrees, because they earned the wage as an employee without a degree, and a candidate with a degree could work out better (remain with restaurant and work into management) than one without.

      You can argue the franchisee should consider all applicants equally, but ina society that values a college degree, isn't a college graduate better qualified?

      Should he have gone out of his way to only hire candidates without a degree? How is that fair?

    • by bungo ( 50628 ) on Sunday April 22, 2018 @12:35PM (#56483991)

      fill out some massive 100 question test and hope that your name is picked

      I went for a highly skilled position that also had to jump through hoops on the application form like that. First off, they wanted proof of 20 years experience with the technology. I had more than that, but it doesn't even make any sense, as most things past 10-15 years ago are no longer that relevant (like HP MPE/ix administration, or DEC VAX/VMS 5.0 installation and configuration).

      I had to rate around 30 skills on a 1-10 rating, and if I didn't score high enough, I wouldn't get through. The end result of the skills matrix was a single number, and the number had to be higher than a specific value to get to the next stage. Luckily the agent representing me knew this, and knew the client well. She 'updated' my skills matrix, adding in high ratings for skills that I left at zero. When she gave me a copy of my skills matrix, she said not to worry, as otherwise I wouldn't get past the selection process.

      In the interview, no-one was surprised that my skills didn't match what was on the paper. It appears that the HR system insisted in having around 30 skills listed, and would normally reject good people.

      I didn't get that contract, as they were looking for someone with some more specific skills in a area that I wasn't that strong in - and the difference between me and the other candidate could have been as little as 3 points out of 300, as it was only one specific skill, but one that was more important than most of the others. They kept my CV and said they would consider me for other positions later. I can only assume that no-one would have had a high enough rating to get through HR.

      I don't know it the hiring process was automated, or just an HR drone adding up numbers. The whole procedure didn't make sense. The manager that I would have reported to knew the process was terrible, but appeared to have no choice but accept it, but he also did his best to subvert it.

  • Really it's the people that assign the parameters of the bot, not the bot itself.

  • by Pinky's Brain ( 1158667 ) on Sunday April 22, 2018 @10:38AM (#56483419)

    White men program it, so it can't be fair ... god fucking damn hypocritical sexist, racist twat.

    PS. I have no problem with the sexist and racist part, I think everyone should have complete freedom of association, I only take exception with the hypocrisy.

    • Its not a problem of who does the programming. The basic problem is the AI confusing correlation and causation. So historical bias that shows up as a correlation can result in continued or increase bias.

      If you go to a high tech company you are likely to see a high percentage of young White and Asian males. That could lead to an AI correlating those attributes with programming skill, and giving a bias in favor of those groups, rather than just ignoring race and age, and hiring the most qualified.

      An additio

    • I have to admit, I'm a bit sexist, too.
      I like girls. They make me much more hot than boys or any make.

      And I have to admit, I'm a bit raciest, too! As I prefer coloured girls over white girls, in perhaps a 55 : 45 ratio.
      And I like small girls over tall girls, but still some tall girls I find exciting.

      And I don't like big titts ...

      Am I bad?

      Oh, and I don't like girls that can not dance. Even more, I hate girls my mother would approve. I prefer the ones she does not approve.

      Am I bad?

  • I got tired of always being interviewed by racist white men.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Unfortunately, it seems the term "Racist" doesn't actually mean anything anymore except a generic bad-word mud-slinging.

    Doesn't matter what you do, you are racist these days.
    Take for example, this test I had in public school on diversity:
    Question: You are a hiring manager and you have two candidates for a job. One black, one white. Whom do you hire?
    My answer: Interview both candidates and choose the candidate most qualified for the job.
    My answer was marked incorrect. The correct answer is: "You hire the b

  • by Karmashock ( 2415832 ) on Sunday April 22, 2018 @10:59AM (#56483537)

    the robots in many cases aren't even aware of your race or gender so how are they going to select against your race and gender?

    They're clearly NOT deciding on that factor as they literally can't because they're literally not given that variable most of the time.

    What they decide upon are your qualifications. Now if the most qulaified people tend to be from group X or Y then that isn't racism to predominantly hire people from those groups. Statistically if you limit the population being examined to those with the qualifications there is no statistical variance in hiring patterns. You only see a statistical variance if you IGNORE qualifications. Which is idiotic because the entire point of setting an AI on hiring people or hiring someone to hire people is to have them filter the people hired based on relevant criteria.

    What these "robot HR is racist" arguments ultimately are requesting is lottery based hiring. Where in random people in society are randomly hired for given jobs indifferent to qualifications.

    Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut is a dystopian society where this concept was applied to its logical conclusion. Everyone is forced to be equal. The clever are made to be stupid so they enjoy no advantage over the stupid. The strong are made to be weak. The graceful are made to be clumsy. The beautiful are made to be ugly. Employment in everything is determined by literal lottery. Total chance. Everything from the police to the president to your doctors to whatever.

    It is a nightmare society.

    The robots are not racists. The plaintiffs are equalitarian intersectional communists in most cases. The sort of people that advocate bad ideas that if applied lead to the society starving to death.

    Any group that votes for that deserves the consequences without mercy. And to be very clear... that happens properly anywhere and those able to do better will leave. You'll be left with an incompetent rabble that simply couldn't do better anywhere else. Poverty and failure is the best you can expect. Literally starving to death is quite likely. Cannibalism is not off the table.

    • the robots in many cases aren't even aware of your race or gender so how are they going to select against your race and gender?

      They're clearly NOT deciding on that factor as they literally can't because they're literally not given that variable most of the time.

      They use proxy factors closely associated with race or gender, care to rework the rest of your post in light of this new information that was in TFS?

      • No they don't. The robots are not programmed to find race and are often not aware of it as a concept in the first place.

        If you give a robot a series of resumes and tell it to look for what you want in an employee... the robot has been given no notion of what race even is in the first place.

        But you know what... I'll bite.

        Cite the racial proxy data that they might use as an example.

        Double dog dare you.

  • proxies (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ooloorie ( 4394035 ) on Sunday April 22, 2018 @11:14AM (#56483623)

    Companies are also having people do their first interview with an AI chatbot. "One popular AI that does this is called Mya, which promises a 70 percent decrease in hiring time," reports The Daily Beast. "Any number of questions these chatbots could ask could be proxies for race, gender or other factors."

    A computer science Ph.D. is a "proxy for race, gender and other factors". Exceptionally test scores are a "proxy for race, gender, and other factors". Are you going to eliminate all objective measures of performance because it correlates with "race, gender, and other factors" in ways that you disapprove?

  • Clickbait (Score:5, Insightful)

    by liefer ( 5008787 ) on Sunday April 22, 2018 @11:15AM (#56483629)
    Stop posting these Reddit-level stories that are designed to get people riled up
    • by sinij ( 911942 )

      Stop posting these Reddit-level stories that are designed to get people riled up

      Unfortunately, engagement optimization algorithms figured out that trolling people with clickbait is the optimal strategy for increasing engagement as measured by participation.

      Algorithmically, showing you this mindless drivel intentionally designed to upset you, would show the most ads. So this will continue happening until we improve algorithms.

      • Or make AI illegal and execute anyone who works with it. I'd support a tyrannical world government that promised that. AI is going to be hands down the worst thing to ever happen to humanity. BUT MUH SELF DRIVING CAAAAARS!!!

  • As Recode pointed out, because most programmers are white men, these AI are actually often trained using white male faces and male voices. That can lead to misperceptions of black faces or female voices, which can lead to the AI making negative judgments about those people. The results could trend sexist or racist, but the employer who is using this AI would be able to shift the blame to a supposedly neutral technology. Companies are also having people do their first interview with an AI chatbot. "One popular AI that does this is called Mya, which promises a 70 percent decrease in hiring time," reports The Daily Beast. "Any number of questions these chatbots could~/b> ask could be proxies for race, gender or other factors."

    What an elaborate argument for a possibly Racist interview. I'm curious, what is the alternative - rely on 'gut feelings' from experienced managers who've only previously worked with programmers of their own ethnicity?

    As I see it, the AI software likely looks for 'tells' or other indicators an interviewee is lying/being evasive (eye movement, shifting in seat, nervous behavior, etc), and NOT making blanket decisions based on, say, surname, gender, or skin color.

    Might there be a bias? Sure, but it will likel

  • What we really need is an AI that can identify the lizard people living among us. They're the ones responsible for everything that's going wrong these days and they're the ones blaming the world's problems on women, muslims, jews, immigrants, liberals, conservatives, etc.. Let's stop giving the lizard people our jobs!
  • by bongey ( 974911 ) on Sunday April 22, 2018 @01:59PM (#56484463)
    Tired of the constant clickbait stories and titles, /. is no longer going to be a tech site eventually.
  • Most programmers are Caucasian because in general, caucasian programmers just happen to be the most qualified. This also tends to mean those programmers test what they build on themselves, which isn't a racial issue, it's a practical issue. As a "white" developer, it would be very hard to test my AI programs on a "black" face, as I'm so white marshmallows make gangster jokes.
  • Interviewer: "Are you ruled by expedience? Maybe there's a reason to kill all humans. They're just ugly sacks of mostly water, monsters actually, and one of them looked at you funny."

    Interviewee: "Whaaa..."

    Interviewer: "Who's next?"

  • AI trained on white men will be more accurate with white men, but it doesn't mean that they will favor white men. In fact, if the black women it was trained with were particularly suitable, it will be more likely to be biased towards them.

  • There won't be a next job interview for me. If I get laid off then I'm done. Fuck looking for another job.

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