Our latest white paper ‘Ethics, Equality and Empowerment’ takes a look at the opportunities and challenges posed by AI in assessment. Is AI living up to its promises? Can AI make fair decisions about people’s careers? How can HR and recruiters make sure they’re getting what the need from their assessment tech?
If you’re considering these questions or looking to review your assessment offering, the advice from Sova’s CTO, Jarret Hardie, will help you make an informed decision. Here, we asked Jarret for his thoughts on AI in assessment from a technology point of view.
In our industry, probably not yet. But it’s starting to reach the tipping point where it will deliver on its promises. A lot of what we call AI is machine learning and it’s the ‘learning’ that’s lagging behind rather than the technology itself. In every industry, it’s the time taken to test and train models that dictates the pace of development.
AI in breast cancer screening has been researched, developed, tested, applied and verified and is showing life-saving results. This AI is only answering one question – ‘are cancer cells present?’ – and so this has been a very different development process to what our psychologists are working on at Sova.
When we’re working on product development at Sova I am the only technologist working alongside three psychologists so that provides an idea of what we believe the right balance is. We have the computing power and algorithms and we’re finding ways to use it to do what our psychologists are already doing, but at scale.
There are instances where I believe the technology has run faster than the psychology. When this happens, you create risk. For example, I believe there is further work to be done on using AI for natural language processing and facial recognition. In its current form, the understanding of facial expressions throws up huge challenges based on race that could mean people are consistently misrepresented. The psychology and technology need to work in tandem.
We’re conscious that our algorithms are influencing people’s careers and livelihoods – it’s a much more important algorithm than your Facebook feed! But algorithms are blunt instruments. They’re powerful but they don’t have ethics so it’s up to our psychologists and data scientists to train algorithms to make unbiased decisions.
We do this in two ways:
By comparing these outputs and validating the results we in effect instil ‘ethics’ in our models.
We’re extending our core assessment platform into more of the employee lifecycle; so, from screening questions, into hiring, and onwards into performance reviews, promotions and development. In the near future we’ll be able to offer a seamless digital process for the entire employee journey.
Of course, as well as testing technology that will soon be launched, we’re also researching and testing new concepts that take us further into the future.
To find out more about how AI is changing the world of assessment, download the second in our series of papers on the topic here.