Bias in AI - a Special Edition

AI is likely to become the most transformative technology of the 21st century, and with every passing year a seemingly quantum leap in AI’s capabilities is achieved. AI has proven to be disruptive in industries as varied as marketing, health, automotive, finance, education, astronomy or human resources. In the backdrop of this technological revolution, several voices have raised concern at the ethical impacts of AI - the biggest fear being that AI surpasses human intelligence at some point. At this time, many have pointed out the inaccuracies of AI-based decisions, leading sometimes to biased or discriminatory outcomes.

The effect of AI on hiring in particular has been profound. Now more than ever before, businesses can tap into the power of automatic speech recognition (ASR) and natural language processing (NLP) to source potential candidates and hire for open positions in a fraction of the previously possible time.

Yet, while AI promises to revolutionize how companies conduct their hiring practices, it is important to recognize that AI systems are not implicitly fair and that the impact of hidden bias on these systems is still underappreciated. While countering bias is often framed as merely a nice-to-have, the reality is that failing to cope with undetected bias can actually lead to very negative business outcomes. Therefore, detecting and countering bias is, in fact, critical for any business which hopes to deliver the best value to its customers and profit from the use of AI technology.

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