De­vise dis­played bias against women

The Irish Times - Business - - TECHNOLOGY -

■ Ama­zon.com’s ma­chine-learn­ing spe­cial­ists un­cov­ered a big prob­lem: their new re­cruit­ing en­gine did not like women. The team had been build­ing com­puter pro­grams since 2014 to re­view job ap­pli­cants’ re­sumes with the aim of mech­a­nis­ing the search for top tal­ent, five peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the ef­fort told Reuters. Au­to­ma­tion has been key to Ama­zon’s e-com­merce dom­i­nance, be it in­side ware­houses or driv­ing pric­ing de­ci­sions. The com­pany’s ex­per­i­men­tal hir­ing tool used ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence to give job can­di­dates scores rang­ing from one to five stars – much like shop­pers rate prod­ucts on Ama­zon, some of the peo­ple said. “Ev­ery­one wanted this holy grail,” one of the peo­ple said. “They lit­er­ally wanted it to be an en­gine where I’m go­ing to give you 100 re­sumes, it will spit out the top five, and we’ll hire those.”

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