Interviewed by a robot…

The majority of you have no doubt attended an interview for a job at some stage. Some of you have also probably done the interviewing.

If you have interviewed somebody, how many interviews would you say you would be able to do before you started to lose concentration?

Well my guess is that you wouldn’t be able to do as many as this interviewer can and whilst this particular interviewer won’t be able to ask any difficult questions, one thing it can do for sure is process far more information than you or I could.

Vodafone has begun using artificial intelligence (AI) to screen people applying for jobs at their call centres and shops.

Candidates looking for a job with Vodafone have to record a video of themselves answering questions from a standard questionnaire. These videos are then reviewed by robots. OK, not real robots but computers which have been programmed with advanced algorithms which can assess the candidate’s suitability for the job by way of analysing facial cues and voice intonation.

If candidates get through this scrutiny by the computer then they are put forward for interview by humans.

Vodafone has been using this technology significantly and it was reported in the Times newspaper that about 50,000 applicants have already gone through this AI procedure.

That’s an impressive number and a significant amount of time has been saved by using machines instead of humans. Catalina Schveninger, Vodafone’s head of resourcing was quoted as saying “It takes a tremendous amount of time out of the hiring process: it halves the time and allows us to fish from a much bigger pool”. Ms Schveninger went on to say that “We are the first multinational implementing a programme like this on a global scale. This is the future of resourcing”.

I wonder though whether the AI includes the ability for the computers to detect that you are stretching the truth when you answer the question about “What are your weaknesses?” by saying that you are too hard working and too much of a perfectionist…

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