Just dropping this magnificent podcast episode off here.
Ifeoma Ajunwa, the author of the upcoming book, the Quantified Worker, goes pretty deep on automated hiring systems, and how humans encode bias into AI-powered hiring systems. She shares examples of how hiring platforms powered by AI are problematic and the impact on job seekers:
“A lot of hiring systems make use of machine learning algorithms. Algorithms are basically a step by step process for solving any known problem. What you have is a defined set of inputs and you’re hoping to get a defined set of outputs like hire, don’t hire, or in between. When you have machine learning algorithms, it kind of makes it murkier. You have a defined set of inputs, but the algorithm itself is learning. So the algorithm itself is actually creating new algorithms, which you are not defining. The algorithm is learning to how you react from the choices it gives you. It creates new algorithms from that. It can become murky in terms of discerning what attributes the algorithm is defining as important because it’s constantly changing.”
It’s always a treat to guest on a podcast but I think the treat is even sweeter when the podcast is hosted by someone with a British accent. I had was thrilled to chat with Jane Barrett, Founder of Career Farm, all about our new world of work.
tl;dr: I dumped out all my thoughts on artificial intelligence, the future of work, and AI in the job search on Mac’s list career podcast.
We are living in the glory days of podcast content. I don’t even care that New York Times thinks we are at peak podcast, I am loving the variety and niche topics that podcast creators are delivering on a daily basis. There isn’t enough time in the day to listen to all the podcasts in my feed.
Right now I’m totally into season four of ZigZag podcast. The theme of redefining success resonates with me.
I’m late to this podcast series party, but I’m obsessed with Caliphate and the behind the scenes action of investigative journalism.
While I’ve been busy consuming all the podcasts, I’ve also been hosting my own tiny-but-mighty podcast for career changers and am busy guesting around on others. Most recently I jumped on the fabulous career podcast from the Pacific Northwest, Mac’s List.
I covered artificial intelligence in the job search and how new technology is reshaping our careers. I also tell you why the robots aren’t exactly taking over our jobs.
Figuring out how to make a career change is a big barrier for many. After all, we were all sold on the idea that we simply needed a college degree and the right major and we’d be set for life. Nobody teaches us how to change careers. But the career ladder is dead, and the world of work has changed. This isn’t your dad’s workplace anymore.
We all need a bit of help when it comes to finding a new career. From how to pick a career path, to learning new skills, to starting a new job, switching careers is a daunting task for many.
How to Change Careers by Podcast
I launched the podcast 50 Conversations to help people change careers. Can you actually learn how to change careers by podcast? Maybe. But you can certainly get a lot of good advice on how to find a new career. The podcast offers 50 stories from people who have changed careers. They cover everything from how they knew it was time to change, how they found a new career path, to how they learned skills to make the jump. And at the end of each episode they give advice to future career changers like you.
Career paths, bootcamps, and career changes in your 30s, oh my
Career changes comes in many shapes and sizes. In my podcast for career changers, you’ll hear stories about people who took many different paths. You’ll hear about people who went back to school in their 30s and 40s. Listen to others explain how they choose a digital bootcamp or why they opted to go to community college. Hear stories from people who were burnt out and started their own business. You’ll also get to hear from people who have changed over and over again, always curious about the next opportunity. With 50 conversations, you’ll hear a variety of career paths, so expected and some less so.
“I need a career change but don’t know what to do”
If that phrase has escaped your mouth recently, the 50 Conversations podcast is definitely for you. The beginning of a career change doesn’t start with having a plan; it starts with exploring your options, commitment free. Listening to a podcast about how to change careers is an excellent start to the career change exploration process.
Free career advice in your pocket
Look, career coaches are fabulously helpful for helping you make a career change but they’re expensive. So consider this podcast for career changers a career coach in your pocket. You’ll learn how to make a career change in many different ways. Plus, I interview other career coaches to get their take on how they’re reshaping their careers.
With this new free time I’m launching a new summer project. It’s based on my love of podcasts, conversations, and people. 50 Conversationsis a limited run, mini-podcast featuring informal conversations with career changers.
Mini-podcast is really just code for informal podcasting because these audio nuggets won’t include intro music, editing, or sponsors. It’s simply short conversations with people who have made the jump from one career to another. You can sneak a listen to these stories on your commute and between meetings.
One of the things that sort of keeps us up at night is if you think about the way that we check that our current systems are fair in, say, criminal justice is that we have a system of appeals. We have a system of rulings. You actually have a thing called due process, which means you can check the evidence that’s being brought against you. You can say, “Hey, this is incorrect.” You can change the data. You can say, “Hey, you’ve got the wrong information about me.”
This is actually not how AI works right now. In many cases, decisions are gonna be made about you. You’re not even aware that an AI system is working in the background. Let’s take HR for a classic case in point right now. Now, many of you have probably tried sending CVs and résumés in to get a job. What you may not know is that in many cases, companies are using AI systems to scan those résumés, to decide whether or not you’re worthy of an interview, and that’s fine until you start hearing about Amazon’s system, where they took two years to design, essentially, an AI automatic résumé scanner. – How will AI change your life? AI Now Institute founders Kate Crawford and Meredith Whittaker explain.
Everyone who works on AI products needs to understand the ethical implications of their work. AI engineers and product managers need to understand their product’s impact on users. Business leaders and engineers need to bring in diverse voices and specialties to help ensure their product doesn’t have negative implications. Human resources leads need to hire interdisciplinary workers, who connect the dots between design, engineering, and business performance.
All of this is of course easier said than done. Judging by the many, many, many fails in AI product development, we aren’t even close to that point inside of AI organizations. These “fails” have a tremendous impact on people’s lives.
Ethics is a loaded term and businesses aren’t quite sure what ethics and AI even looks like. Just look at the recent dissolving of Google’s AI ethics board. While many questioned who got to be on that board, many others questioned exactly how an ethics board translates into ethical business practices and products.
Thankfully there are several individuals and organizations working at the intersection of AI and ethics. My personal favorite is the AI Now Institute. I could have pulled so many other impactful quotes from their recent interview on the Recode Decode podcast. Have a listen to that episode to get your head around the many challenges of AI and ethics. And if you’re really into AI and ethics, check out this list of people to follow on Twitter.
Now that my first book on the future of work is moving forward, I’m turning my research towards AI and ethics, specifically how organizations train talent to reduce bias in AI products. So expect more of this type of content in the coming months.
I’m also speaking at Portland’s Machine Learning for All conference on how to have curious conversations. I’ll be teaching software and machine learning engineers how to hone their soft skills to build connections and work interdisciplinary to ensure they’re bringing the right voices into their work.
Last year I MC’d the Women in Travel conference. I told an audience full of 400+ influencers that my goal was to be a guest on a podcast. And Lisette Austin, aka Jet Set Lisette, delivered. She asked me to join her podcast, The Globe Trotter Lounge, to talk about global careers.
It was a delightful conversation full of fun. I’m thrilled how it turned out. In the episode I share all kinds of advice on global careers, the future of work, and why travelers are in the best position to navigate our new world of work.
I honestly could talk to Lisette for hours because she has such a fabulous perspective on all things travel (plus she loves languages too!). Subscribe and listen to her other podcast and episodes while you’re visiting.
I’m fresh off a much needed vacation. I road tripped down Highway 1 and I binged some seriously good podcasts.
My two favs:
Heaven’s Gate: A deep look into the lives and leaders of Heaven’s Gate, the cult that made international headlines in the late 90s when 39 members killed themselves to board a UFO in the heavens. This isn’t a salacious look – it’s an examination of the members, families affected, reasons for joining, lives of the leaders, and the cultural context surrounding the cult. What I really loved is the examination of how we other people. It’s easy to say, holy shit all those people were crazy, but like anything in life, it’s a lot more complicated than that. On top of that, the host, Glen Washington, shares his experience growing up in a doomsday religion.
“The rules of the show are this: You either live a protected life somewhere like Fairhaven—a so-called deliberate community reminiscent of Portland, Oregon, that is encased in a literal bubble—or in the monster-infested brush beyond. The story follows mismatched roommates living in a dodgy part of town. Morgan kills monsters; Annie then sells the creatures’ blood on the black market to get people high.”
Click to download, please. It didn’t disappoint. The show is so damn funny, ridiculous, and spot on with it’s cultural critique that I’m recommending it to everyone. With 8 episodes, it’ll transport you to familiar-yet-not-quite world, keeping you distracted from traffic or any of the bored bits on a road trip.
Spend any time in future of work or higher education circles, and you’ll notice how often people throw around the term lifelong learning. It’s incredibly in fashion to tell people how they’ll need to become lifelong learners. Beyond that though aren’t a lot of resources on how people should make this shift.
Degreed is out to change that. This interview with the founder of Degreed is an inside look at the challenges and opportunities of cultivating life long learning among employees.
I really appreciated this podcast episode, especially where they talk about learning to learn and creating a learning environment in the workplace. Plus I learned about an entire new category of YouTube videos: bad corporate training.
If you spend any time in future of work circles or higher education, you’ll like this perspective.