How to Reduce AI Bias in Hiring

The hiring process has seen a substantial transformation because to artificial intelligence (AI), which has given recruiting teams a more efficient way to find fresh talent. Artificial intelligence (AI) is not immune to discrimination, unlike its human developers, even if it can improve decision-making and lessen bias in employment.

Therefore, in order to maintain equitable and inclusive recruiting procedures, businesses must confront and reduce AI bias in hiring. This essay will discuss AI prejudice, its different manifestations, and workable solutions to lessen its impacts.

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What is AI Bias?

In the context of artificial intelligence, bias is the unfair or discriminating treatment of people or groups based on attributes like race, gender, age, or ethnicity.

Many biases can appear in the hiring, managing, and firing processes; these biases are frequently unconscious or subtle. These prejudices could prevent older workers from being let go too soon, hire fewer women overall, or make it more difficult for members of particular protected classes to find employment.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is not immune to biases; in fact, some businesses have used it in their talent acquisition processes to make decisions without taking certain protected classes into account.

The data set used to train AI determines its efficacy; any inaccuracies or biases in the data will show up in the AI’s results. These biases are not emotional; rather, they are programming mistakes that lead to undesirable and unexpected results.

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Data May Reflect Hidden Societal Biases

The data used to train AI models is a major contributor to AI bias in hiring. For example, a Google search for “beautiful” yields primarily images of Caucasian ladies. This bias is a result of the training data, which included an overrepresentation of these particular photos provided by people who themselves held biased views, rather than any racial predilection ingrained in the search engine’s algorithms.

Algorithms Can Influence Their Own Data

The capacity of algorithms to sway the data they receive is another factor causing AI bias in employment. Positive feedback loops may emerge when particular kinds of material gain prominence as a result of user interactions. This strengthens the biases that are already present in the AI’s training set by making some facts more visible and prominent. As such, AI systems have the ability to reinforce and amplify their own prejudices.

People Can Manipulate Training Sets

Malicious actors may purposefully tamper with training data, producing results that are skewed. Microsoft’s AI chatbot “Tay,” which was made public on Twitter in 2016, is a notorious example. In a matter of hours, users trained Tay to share provocative and harmful content, leading to the spread of violent, sexist, and racist falsehoods.

Open-source or publicly accessible AI models frequently need ongoing oversight and intervention to stop deliberate manipulation of training sets in order to address this problem.

Unbalanced Data Affects the Output

“Garbage in, garbage out,” which emphasizes that faulty input data produces faulty results, is a common proverb among data scientists. Artificial intelligence’s predictions and judgments could be skewed if programmers unintentionally train the system on data that does not fairly depict real-world distributions.

For example, if the initial training set mostly included pictures of white people, facial recognition software might have trouble identifying the faces of persons with darker skin tones.

Furthermore, imbalanced data sets may unintentionally create correlations between features and hidden categories or predictions. Assume samples of female truck drivers are absent from the training data. Then, because there aren’t many concrete instances with women, the AI might immediately draw a connection between the truck driver and male categories.

Because of these historical trends, the AI inadvertently comes to the incorrect conclusion that hiring women as truck drivers is biased against.

Why AI Bias is a Challenge in Hiring

Teams in charge of talent acquisition are committed to making sure that the hiring process is equitable. However, a lot of teams are now turning to artificial intelligence (AI) and automation tools to help them manage massive amounts of resumes and applications due to the mounting workload and flood of job applications.

The average job posting attracted 250 applications prior to the COVID-19 epidemic; nevertheless, some entry-level posts now receive thousands of applications. Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms are frequently used to help with employment decisions, video interview evaluation, and performance prediction.

However, candidates have shared stories of their applications being rejected by AI programs due to things like names that sound foreign or certain terms on their résumé. Word choices and names are not protected classes, but they can be used as surrogates for age, gender, and race.

For instance, in 2018 Amazon was forced to remove a hiring tool that automatically disqualified resumes that included the word “women’s,” unfairly harming applicants with experience in women’s studies. This occurrence is especially noteworthy because businesses with gender diversity in the top quartile are 25 percent more likely than those with it to achieve above-average profits.


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