The Electronic Privacy Information Center, a public interest research center based in Washington, D.C., recently asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate HireVue, a recruiting company based in Utah that purports to evaluate a job applicant’s job qualifications through online “video interview” and/or “game-based challenge.”
HireVue uses a proprietary algorithm to assess “tens of thousands of data points” from candidate video interviews, including the candidate’s “intonation,” “inflection” and “emotions.” These and other data points are input into “predictive algorithms” that compare candidates with a company’s top performers.
EPIC states HireVue’s “business practices produce results that are biased, unprovable and not replicable.”
The EPIC complaint focuses upon potential bias against women and minorities but the concept of using video game-based assessments seems particularly suspect with respect to older workers. The average age of video game players is indeed in the mid-30s. Many older workers do not play video games and it is likely that fewer older women than men have done so. Even if they have, their response would likely be slower than a skilled young gamer.
EPIC alleges HireVue’s platform also fails to meet minimal standards for AI-based decision-making set out in AI Principles approved by the 36-member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), including the U.S. These principles say everyone has a right to know the basis for an AI decision that concerns them, AI systems should be deployed only after an adequate evaluation of its risks and institutions must ensure that AI systems do not reflect unfair bias.
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