Does Artificial Intelligence Have the Ability to Eliminate Gender Bias?

Kristina Finseth

 

I’ve been reading a lot of articles lately where technology organizations, big and small, make promises that they can completely remove gender bias from your hiring process through the help of artificial intelligence.

Although there’s some truth to this, it’s a little more complicated than just implementing an A.I. technology solution and – voila - the problem is solved forever. The short answer is yes, A.I. has the ability to eliminate gender bias. The longer answer involves some checks and balances before, during and after implementing an A.I. technology solution.

Let me explain.

Gender bias stems from the people using it – not A.I. technology itself. The truth is that artificial intelligence does not have gender biases, but it definitely has the potential to develop them over time based on the human biases of the people using the technology.

Since A.I. uses algorithms to parse through data, develop patterns, and make predictions – there’s no doubt that it will pick up on prominent gender biases that are present in your organization’s sourcing, recruiting, and hiring practices.

Here’s an example.

Upon reviewing applicants for a sales position, Recruiter A tends to pass over any applicants with a female-sounding name, even when artificial intelligence technology has selected the top candidates for the position. With this ongoing gender biased behavior from Recruiter A, the data insights will be collected, analyzed, and developed into patterns to be used to make predictions for future positions – and that includes Recruiter A’s gender biases.

Does that mean artificial intelligence causes more harm than good? No, not at all.

The good news is that artificial intelligence can be taught to be unbiased. It really comes down to organizations adopting an ethical and responsible approach when developing and implementing artificial intelligence into their recruiting practices – whether on their own or through a third-party vendor.

Initially, the A.I. technology you implement should be trained and tested for known unwanted bias extensively prior to going live. Then, it’s only natural that human unknown biases will periodically arise. That’s why it’s critical to continuously test your A.I. technology, ensuring any unwanted behaviors or biases are identified and immediately corrected

So, will we ever fully be able to eliminate gender bias with A.I.? The bottom line is A.I. adds a lot of value to the recruiting process, and it will continue to improve over time. With the right data insights collected on an unbiased level, artificial intelligence has the ability to eliminate a lot of the headaches and pain points we associate with sourcing, recruiting, and hiring the right fit for the position and company.

A.I. will continue to revolutionize the recruiting world, allowing recruiters to become true talent strategists and business partners to their hiring managers. As for eliminating gender bias without worrying about the human biases of the people using the technology – we’re not quite there yet, but I am confident that will change in the not-so-distant future.

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Do you think A.I. technology has the ability to completely eliminate gender bias in the recruiting and hiring process?