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AI vs Humans: The Way Forward

AI vs Humans: The Way Forward

In the last two weeks, we have taken a deep dive into Artificial Intelligence (AI) backed technology, and its role in the world of work. Having spoken about the role of AI in recruitment, the reasons why it can never really replace human recruiters, and how AI can be used to eliminate HR and recruitment bias, we sum up the series with this post which advocates a nuanced approach towards Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the human world. While AI is here to stay and that is for sure, AI can never replace the humane qualities of politeness, empathy, compassion and humour.

With the advent of AI in almost every conceivable sphere our lives, the fact that AI will change our lives like never before can be said to have safely crossed the threshold of just speculation. Technology, and its innumerable by products – such as AI are important, but they can never wholly be independent of the indispensable human touch. Especially in fields such as recruitment which are based entirely on human resources, one cannot replace value of real human interaction to gauge and hone human talent, with mechanics of technology. While technology is an aide to help simplify the job of recruitment, and help perform tasks efficiently and effectively, it cannot replace the human connect.

Anupama Raju in her article “Beyond AI”, takes a witty stand on the tussle between AI and the human touch. Quoting from her article,

Every day, debates continue to rage between two schools — one that sees AI as some kind of evil force that will annihilate the human race, take away jobs and another that sees its wondrous possibilities. Amidst all this, one clear pattern is the machine’s or computer’s ability to advance till the day technological singularity will occur — when AI will reach human levels of intelligence. According to futurist Ray Kurzweil, this could happen in the next 30 years. We see AI around us every day as we rely, like hapless babies, on our smart phones, as the algorithms complete words and sentences for us in our WhatsApp messages, as we hang on to Google for every little piece of information, as we tumble dry our clothes in intelligent washing machines, visit a smart store or proudly display our Alexas. Henry Thoreau once said men have become the tools of their tools. Now more than ever!

AI is already becoming an area of billion-dollar investments for many companies globally. Departments that traditionally relied on human intelligence could all be augmented or perhaps replaced by an AI or a super intelligence. We will see more workplaces where AI will create superlative experiences for employees.

…At the same time, I’m not sure about the effectiveness of the algorithms of politeness, empathy, compassion or humour that could be fed into the machines. These are some factors that make life in the workplace and home worth living.

“There are some factors that make life in the workplace and home worth living.” And these factors are precisely the ones that separate humans as sensitive, rational, thinking beings from automated machines. In our hopes and efforts to shrink the world through technology so that every aspect can be capitalized, with efficiency and with speed, let’s remember to pause and look back every now and then.

Being happy in the now, being mindful in the now, being kind and present and human –  supersedes everything else. In the larger scheme of things, it is with the human qualities such as these do we create the moments we cherish for life. AI, and everything else is just a by-product of human intelligence, which cannot and should not replace the latter.

Eliminating HR and Recruitment Bias with AI

Eliminating HR and Recruitment Bias with AI

Some of the biggest challenges in the field of recruitment stem from HR (Human Resources) bias, which impact the crucial aspects of diversity, inclusiveness and equality in the world of work. These issues can be hard to resolve since a lot of times certain prejudices or biases are so deep-seated and normalized, that one doesn’t even realize they are being biased. With a judicious use of AI in recruitment and HR, we can hope to create and sustain a more equal and diverse work space. And here is how.

  1. Using AI to root out bias during recruitment

    This by far is one of the best uses of AI. While AI learns the patterns of recruitment by analyzing the past history, it is possible to mould the algorithms in a way so that while playing the necessary filters of finding probable candidates, it doesn’t stick to the past biases in recruitment. In this case, the result is having a much greater chance at a diverse work force, and at a fair recruitment process which keeps in mind only the necessary qualifications which defines the successful candidate. Thus, keeping at bay any and all biases related to gender, caste, class, religion, et al.

  2. Using AI to identify gender biased job descriptions

    Here is something Amanda Bell, Director of Recruiting at Lever, has to say about Gender biased job descriptions:

    “Luckily, this can be pretty easy. Review your job descriptions with the lens of “Who is the audience here?” If your answer is “any qualified candidate, regardless of gender,” you’ve done a good job! It’s not just about the presence of gender-specific pronouns – it’s also about using language that is inclusive of all genders. Stay away from phrases like “kick ass,” “ninja,” and, believe it or not, “brah.” You can also ask a few employees of various genders to read the descriptions and solicit feedback.”

    In fact, this problem is deeper and more pervasive than we think. Even seemingly harmless words have an impact on how gender inclusive the descriptions are. With the help of AI, we can move a step closer to creating gender inclusive job descriptions. This is often the very first step of recruitment. And getting the beginning right, helps ensure the standards of fairness all through the process.

  3. Using AI to see the “invisible bias”

    While bias in recruitment, and the way job descriptions are crafted can be identified to a certain extent, there are multiple other forms of biases which aren’t visible. These are often the more insidious ones. And are also often the mound of biases leading up to the formation of the glass ceiling.

    Turns out, it is very much possible to sniff these biases out with the help of AI. For example, Joonko, a new application powered by AI, acts as a diversity coach. Based on experiential learning of CEO and Co-founder of the product, Ilit Raz, she designed it after becoming aware of the several forms of unconscious biases she as a woman faced in her everyday work life. In contrast to the available AI tools which mostly look at recruitment biases, this tool aims at illuminating unconscious bias in workplace situations where very few people even think or feel it exists.  “We try to catch these ‘micro-events and point them out to managers and workers immediately.”, says the co-founder on what the product aims at.

    This is a beautiful way of blending technology and human understanding to create a truly inclusive and fair workplace.

  4. Using AI to eliminate biases from Performance Management Systems

    It is no secret that performance assessments are often shrouded by conscious and unconscious biases of the individual entrusted with the task. An unfair assessment of an individual’s contribution to the organization definitely impacts the overall work space environment, making it a less happy place for people to thrive and work in. A way of dealing with these biases is by using AI in performance management systems. It can take care of two main things that are often said to influence a manager’s decision making with respect to performance assessment:

    – Regency Effect: i.e., when a manager bases the performance of an individual on a recent event, rather than looking at his/her performance over a period of time, cumulatively.
    – Contrast Effect: i.e., when a manager compares or contrasts an individual’s performance against someone else’s, instead of comparing it to the pre-set standards for the given task role.

While the role of humans in the world of work can never be completely over taken by AI, there are things that AI can help humans do better. With the right balance, and insights, AI powered technology can help us move towards fairer, equal, diverse and happy work spaces.

Friday Five: Reasons Why AI Can Never Replace Recruiters

Friday Five: Reasons Why AI Can Never Replace Recruiters

So is the next big thing in recruitment, AI, or Artificial Intelligence? That question surely deserves an answer in the affirmative. AI and Big Data are beginning to have a pervasive impact not just in the recruitment sector, but across sectors – from helping consumers shop better online, to using algorithms for pairing individuals with the most suitable partners through myriad dating platforms. Be it the professional realm, or the personal, AI seems to be making an impact in both. Why then do we claim that AI Can Never Replace Recruiters? Here are our reasons.

  1. AI cannot relate, empathize or help candidates with subjective opinions

    Just saying the above sentence is enough to substantiate the reason, but it is a case worthy of being made. While AI can conjure clever algorithms and claim to recruit the “perfect” candidate, it lacks empathy. It cannot build a relationship based on trust and guidance to provide the candidate and the potential employer through a meaningful, and indeed, humanized process.

  2. AI does not have communication skills, a prerequisite in the field of Recruitment

    Or put another way, AI does not have the necessary communication skills to be able to really sell a job. All it can do is provide the user with answers based on algorithms, which are a hundred percent objective. The recruitment experience with AI will lack in sensitivity, and more importantly insights that experienced recruiters have. These insights coupled with excellent communication skills help recruiters help the candidates. At times, candidates may believe that a certain organization is not a good match for them – in which case AI will end the process right there. However, that experience would differ with a recruiter in case he/she is aware that the organization in fact is a good fit for the candidate. In that scenario, the recruiter will then go on to initiate a dialogue with the candidate to give him his perspective, and insights. This depth in connection ensures that the candidate is equipped to make a thoroughly informed choice.

  3. AI cannot understand a client’s needs like a Recruiter can

    Without the communication skills of a recruiter, AI can never engage with clients the way recruiters do. Recruiters get down to the basics of understanding the culture, background and environment of an organization, and match candidates not just based on skills but also based on values and principles. AI can simplify an elaborate search process in a span of minutes, however, with a lack of engagement with clients, it can never quite attain that “perfect” fit for the client.

  4. AI is not as motivated as Recruiters are

    It would be a little more than slightly incorrect to say that AI loves what it does. But not for actual recruiters (for most of them at least). And people who love what they do are exceptionally good at what they do. This isn’t just a “quote” from hundreds of successful people all around the world, it is a fact. Being motivated helps recruiters go that extra mile, be flexible, and make that extra effort to help anchor a holistic recruitment process. But can we say the same for AI?

  5.  AI is not Human

    While this is like saying a potato is not an apple, it is at times necessary to stress on the obvious to make a point. This last reason perhaps sums up the four other reasons on why AI can never replace recruiters. AI helps enormously with data and predictions, but at the same time, it is important to understand that the recruitment sector is composed of human beings, and for human beings. How then can machines and AI replace the crucial role of recruiters?

The process of recruitment extends far beyond a “matching” process. It is an enduring process built on the basis of mutual trust, respect and experience. By hoping or attempting to delegate such a delicately nuanced process to AI, there is no doubt that we will lose out on some of the best that the talent pool has to offer recruiters. For recruiters, unlike AI, recruitment is not a black and white process, and not a process of simply ticking off the required skills. It is a deeply humane process, as it should be.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Do you imagine the job industry would be more efficient with AI instead of human recruiters? Let us know your thoughts!https://www.sincera.in/contact-us/