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Amazon Forced To Abandon Its AI Recruiting Tool As It Was Discriminating Women
By Izza Sofia, 14 Oct 2018
Image via Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com
Amazon has been forced to do away with its AI recruiting tool after discovering that it was being gender biased.
The AI tool is said to have discriminated against women, leaving Amazon with no choice but to abandon it. According to Reuters, the company had spent years building the system for automating the process of recruiting employees.
This AI-powered tool had been designed to search through pools of résumés and sieve out top candidates.
Amazon, however, discovered that its system had been favoring male applicants over females after picking up patterns in résumés, many of which were submitted by men, spanning over a decade.
The technology also penalized résumés that contained the word “women’s,” while words such as “executed” and “captured”—found more frequently in the resumes of male applicants—suggested that the candidate should be ranked more highly among others.
The team tried to edit the program to make it more neutral, but programmers could not guarantee that the AI would not learn discrimination.
An Amazon spokesperson said that the AI tool was only used in trials and the discriminatory algorithm was apparently fixed in 2015. However, it was completely abandoned in 2017 after failing to return “relevant candidates.” The tool never replaced the traditional hiring route, but instead only acted as a supplementary system.
Unfortunately the AI sparked a larger issue of sexism in the workplace, especially in tech-related fields. The tool became bias due to the already flawed system that further built a workforce with few women.
[via Reuters, opening image via Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com]
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