Unconscious to artificial - Bias prevails everywhere.

Unconscious to artificial - Bias prevails everywhere.

Published By: Dr. Anju Chawla
Published On: 25 Jul 2023 01:45:28 AM

Unconscious to artificial - Bias prevails everywhere.

World is full of zillions of people and each one has her own bias-worse still, it is unconscious! I can visualize the power to infinity when I count these biases in cumulative.

It’s like twinkle twinkle little bias,

put all of you together you occupy a dais.

So this thought is the twining result which synthesized after I attended a workshop on Unconscious bias and a few days later read an article on Economic Times titled,” In hiring drive, bots are calling the shots now”. Before I proceed any further, as a good story teller I must clarify what is unconscious bias, mustn’t I?

Unconscious biases are learned stereotypes that are automatic, unintentional, deeply engrained, universal, and able to influence behaviour. For instance, accidental discrimination between caste, colour, creed, sex, generation, ethnocentrism, education, experience.

Coincidentally, theme of these two separate events was around Talent acquisition. During the workshop a burning question was discussed and that was “Do unconscious bias play a deterrent in acquiring right talent?” And the answer was by and large yes it does. So, how can it be handled effectively? In the era of technology with IT and software dominating the economy, working and even emotions-Artificial Intelligence came up as almost a bull’s eye reply.

Conservative participants like myself who strongly believe in evaluating people with one’s own eyes, hear and evaluate their perspectives with one’s own ears and feel the heat or music of the situation; not only this, but coming from EI background I even go to the extent of checking the pattern pyramid around similar situations and once I find the strength in pattern then only I either go or drop (not error) my thought. So, for a person like me, accepting this response was as difficult as gasping one’s breath while climbing steep rock.

Anyways, the workshop completed in its due course of time and we all moved on to delve into our daily routine. And you guessed it right, the question kept haunting me that can AI completely do away with the unconscious bias and be perfect!!


Glad that I got to read the article on how AI also results in bias. Please allow me to use the excerpt from the article as it is-“


Tal view, a Palo Alto-headquartered company with operations in Singapore and the United States, provided the assessment for the insurer. The software, sourced from Microsoft and IBM, can analyse states such as “anger” and “happiness” from expressions, “confidence” from voice tone and traits like “ability to work in a team” and “decisiveness” from text analysis, according to Rajeev Menon, chief product officer, Tal view. Candidates may be able to beat questionnaires by giving expected answers to questions like “Can you work in a team?”, but video assessments pick up on subtleties in expression and vocabulary, and cannot be gamed, Menon said. Be that as it may, Amazon.com scrapped its artificial intelligence-based recruiting system after it found the AI system biased against women, according to an October 2018 report by Reuters. The AI system was drawing on data from the past, where more men had made it into the company than women.  “If you can fool a human, you can fool a computer,” said Sunil Abraham, executive director of Centre for Internet and Society.  Recruitment algorithms could “homogenise the emotional economy” by forcing people to act a certain way, he said. Since the software is based on expressions and tone of voice, it could disadvantage less expressive people, like those who are autistic, said Whitebox’s Singh.  Facial recognition by companies such as IBM, Microsoft and Amazon got the gender of a dark-skinned woman wrong one out of three times (20-35% error rate), a 2018 study by MIT researcher Joy Buolamwini found. For white males, the error was 0.8%. “

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Meanwhile, I am raising another important question here, if HR managers will only issue offer letter then how will the essence of interview be soaked with interviewer’s experience and cognition to deliver acquisition of an asset and not just a mechanical transaction?

Happy Emotions!


About the Author

Dr.Anju Chawla is a passionate EI practitioner and is on a journey to enable people use their emotions to run their lives and not ruin it.

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