Poetry and AI

 

Just outstanding. Joy Buolamwini, the founder of notflawless.ai, delivers a spoken word poem on the reality of bias in AI. This organization is a must follow resource for anyone working with AI with topics on the dangers of facial recognition technology and police use of facial recognition tech. Also includes links to books and talks on the subject.

Imagine if every emerging AI engineer read this resources on this site.

The algorithm will manage you now

“Workers increasingly see assignments and wages doled out by artificial systems rather than human managers, and have to rely on AI, not HR, when things go wrong. According to tech experts, the rise of algorithms is changing not only how we earn a living, but who gets access to jobs and other opportunities — if their data checks out — or not.” – Forbes, Algorithms And ‘Uberland’ Are Driving Us Into Technocratic Serfdom

I rarely link to Forbes pieces because their ad game is excessive (even with my ad blocker) but the quote above captures the workplace transformation quite succinctly. From spying on workers, to replacing managers with AI, to using questionable data and AI insights to determine who gets hired, the world of work is changing in ways that need examining fast.

The Forbes article was referencing the book UBERLAND: How Algorithms Are Rewriting The Rules Of Work, which has just rocketed to the top of my reading list. Until then, I’m definitely looking out for the author on the podcast circuit.

 

It was only a matter of time

Students are looking for ways to beat AI recruiting tools like HireVue. And now coaching services are offering help:

“A start-up called Finito claims it can coach candidates to beat AI for as long as it takes them to get a job — but at a total cost of nearly £9,000. Candidates are steered through interview dry runs and get tips on what skills are needed to get past robot selections, in sectors including finance, public relations and the arts. They then watch footage back to spot foibles that could be flagged up as nerves.”

Add helping students beat the AI recruiting process to the list of things career services needs to upskill.

beat AI recruiting

Rwanda launches first Masters in Machine Intelligence in the country

Much of the AI and highered interwebs were ablaze in the last week with MIT’s announcement that they’re building an AI college with a cool $1 billion in funding. (side note: I wish I could get into that future interdisciplinary college. Perhaps I’ll just have to wait for the inevitable exec leadership program that comes out of it.)

But I’m far more excited by this news: the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences is launching an African Masters in Machine Intelligence programme. And it’s only 10 months long. Even better? This:

“There are two Rwandans in the first cohort of 35 students, 44 per cent being women – another first at AIMS.”

The students will graduate with a Masters in Mathematical Science specializing in machine learning. The program is backed by tech giants, Google and Facebook. It’s the first of it’s kind in the country.

Maybe Americans might want to considering getting their masters in artificial intelligence abroad. Imagine the perspective they’d gain. Imagine the value they could add to an organization. And they’d do it in less time than a traditional American degree.

A Nigerian colleague shared the article on LinkedIn reminding me yet again of the immense value of global networks.

Employee data collection and monitoring: Creepy or nah?

How much employee data collection is too much? Because it seems our employers – or at least the big corporate ones – want every single piece of your personal data. Is there any option for pushing back on your employer’s personal data grab?

From Axios:

The Kaiser Family Foundation’s annual review of employer-based insurance shows that 21% of large employers collect health information from employees’ mobile apps or wearable devices, as part of their wellness programs — up from 14% last year.

Talking to a human is going to be a luxury in the future

Alexa might be checking you into your next hotel room:

David Autor, an economist at M.I.T., says it is plausible to foresee a future in which — as airlines have done — hotels deploy humans to tend to elite guests and automated systems for everybody else. Workers generate costs well beyond their hourly wage, Professor Autor argued. They get sick and take vacations and require managers. “People are messy,” he noted. “Machines are straightforward.”

 

Curious AF about the future of work and global careers

I’m breaking from my usual posts about HR tech and the future of jobs to give a quick update as I’ve had a few weeks of increased traffic.

So hello everyone. I invite you to enjoy the HR tech rants, question the narratives you read about the future of work, and leave with a podcast recommendation.

I work at the intersection of international education and the future of work. I kind of hate that future of work is a term because really, it’s already here. My passion for culture and language is as strong as my obsession with AI technology and the changing nature of work. There aren’t a lot of us working in this niche but if this is you I’d love to connect on LinkedIn. You can also join the GlobalMe community here.

So much of the future of work is US centric. I’m investigating how new technology and AI are shaping other cultures as well as the US. I’m interested in new companies, roles, and HR tech across borders.

I’m also redefining how we train people for global careers. I founded GlobalMe School to change how we prepare students and alumni for global careers and the future of work. I’m training a next generation of job seekers how to seek out future-proof careers and build cutting edge skills.

My next course, How to Build a Future-Proof International Career, is in development. Below is a preview from a webinar I gave to GlobalMe School participants this past August.

 

The algorithm will hire you now

AI Hiring

A snapshot of opinions on HireVue on Reddit

 

It appears the use of AI in the hiring process is finally hitting mainstream awareness. The Wall Street Journal just released a video report about the role of artificial intelligence in the job search. As part of their Moving Upstream series that explores new trends and technologies, the WSJ investigated two companies that use artificial intelligence to decide if you get hired: HireVue and DeepSense.

The video is worth watching, especially if you’re in the job search or working in career services.

The video begins with an introduction to HireVue, a platform that uses machine learning to assess and rank users on their video interview performance. The video provides an overview of the scoring process and the science behind their facial analysis software from HireVue’s chief psychologist. The company uses millions of data points taken from a candidate’s facial expressions, language choice, and tone of voice to measure and determine a candidate’s fit for a job.

There’s a notable part of the video when the journalist asks the psychologist if all interview videos are reviewed by a human. The psychologist chooses his words carefully, noting that recruiters could watch all the videos if they wanted. But we all know that’s not likely. HireVue exists to make the interview process more efficient. Their product is marketed as a way to save time. It’s not efficient if recruiters have to watch every video.

Later in the the video we meet a college student. He estimates that almost half of his interviews have taken place on HireVue. He’s not a huge fan because he thinks it’s hard to show his true self in video interviews.

There’s likely another reason he dislikes it: Interview preparation requires hours of preparation. Thinking on your feet and providing authentic, yet impactful responses, takes a lot of work in the interview process. It’s hard enough knowing you have to impress a human. But knowing a human many never hear your answers is disappointing. It’s the resume black hole on steroids.

The video report includes some welcome skepticism towards new HR tech from Ifeoma Ajunwa, sociologist and law professor at Cornell University. When asked about the validity of microexpressions, she explains:

It’s still a developing science. The important thing is, there is no clear established pattern of what facial expression is needed for any job. Applicants can be eliminated for facial expressions that have nothing to do with the job.”

AI is Changing the Entire Hiring Process

Artificial intelligence isn’t just changing interviews. It’s changing how candidates are hired at every stage of the hiring process. The WSJ video goes on to profile Deepsense, an AI platform that builds a behavioral profile for every person. The company creates a behavioral profile based on social data taken from publicly available data from sites like Twitter and LinkedIn.

The DeepSense AI process

Then they use the data to “run scientifically based tests to surface people’s personality traits.” In a separate article, the cofounder and CEO of Frrole (which developed DeepSense), notes: “One thing people don’t realize is that how little data is required to start making deductions about you, and probably correct enough.”

AI hiring HR Tech

Screenshot of Deepsense dashboard from WSJ video report

Probably correct enough. That’s tough to read when the stakes are so high. The job search is an emotionally exhausting process. Job seekers have families to support, dreams to achieve, health insurance to secure, and bills to pay. They expect to be evaluated fairly and accurately. Probably correct enough isn’t enough in a high stakes situation.

Currently a big five consulting firm is using their service.

The potential for discrimination and bias with new HR technology is high. How do you ensure your public data is correct? How do you challenge the methodology behind the collection/selection of that data? How do you know if you’ve been discriminated against if it’s all done by algorithmic decision?

Beyond the potential for discrimination and bias coded into algorithms, there’s another disturbing bit of information from that video: job seekers may not know they’re being evaluated by an algorithm. As the WSJ reporter notes:

“I go into this knowing something that HireVue acknowledges many job candidates potentially do not. That my responses are being assessed not by human beings, but by AI, analyzing my tone of voice, the clusters of words I use, and my microexpressions.”

Do people know that every post, article, tweet they put on line can now be analyzed and scored as a basis for hiring? These questions, and plenty more, urgently need answers as companies implement new hiring technology.

These are the jobs of the future and they’re already here

What are the jobs of the future and when will they get here? The answer is now.  Mya Systems makes a chatbot that conducts interviews. They work at the cutting edge of Natural Language Processing and are making waves in HR Tech spaces. (full disclosure: I contract with them to design chatbots). They’re also hiring for cutting edge jobs like this one: Language Annotator. It’s a contract role for a current student, ideally someone in the liberal arts!  They’re looking for a student with literature or philosophy background with strong communication skills and an understanding of machine learning. Bonus if they’ve got foreign language skills. This post touches my machine-learning-obsessed-and-liberal-arts-loving soul.

The job:

The jobs of the future are hybrid jobs. Hybrid jobs combine soft skills with digital skills. You’ll find hybrid jobs through out the job listings; popular hybrid jobs right now are product managers and data translators.

These are the jobs we need to train students and alumni for in order to prepare them for an automated workforce. The future of work is already here.

jobs of the future

Your employer is probably spying on you

FAQ from Teramind, a software that records, logs, and monitors employees.

Corporate America enjoys spying on its workers. According to Wired, “94 percent of organizations currently monitor workers in some way.” Even worse, you likely can’t escape it. From The Creative Ways Your Boss is Spying on You:

Try to hide from this all-seeing eye of corporate America—and you might make matters worse. Even the cleverest spoofing hacks can backfire. “The more workers try to be invisible, the more managers have a hard time figuring out what’s happening, and that justifies more surveillance,” says Michel Anteby, an associate professor of organizational behavior at Boston University. He calls it the “cycle of coercive surveillance.” Translation: lose/lose.

Last year I wrote a post called, AI is going to make your asshole manager even worse. Nothing I’ve read since then has convinced me otherwise.

Is it appropriate now to inquire during the interview stage ask what technology the company uses to spy on workers? If not now, when will it be appropriate?

Also, who monitors the executives? Who monitors the monitors?