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Imagine losing your job to a machine

4 min read

Computers can help you find a job. But they can also make you lose your long awaited dream job. So, what did Artificial Intelligence (AI) do in regard to recruitment, evaluation, and selection?

Imagine being evaluated by a computer! When you apply for a job, you will have to enter your personal data, answer some psychological and personality tests on the computer, and that computer would assess your data and have a say on whether you pass or not. It is now very easy to filter an infinite number of resumes and select the best through the computer.

You can also evaluate the answers of potential candidates, as well as their behavior on social media websites. Today, with the help of computers, you can predict how long a person would last in a job as well. Not only that, your job can become completely automated. In other words, losing your job because of machines is no longer far from reality.

In 2018, Zalando, an internet retail company, laid off 250 employees in Europe, replacing them with algorithms. According to AI experts, regardless of its massive contributions in the recruitment, evaluation, and selection process, AI technology may offer biased outcomes; in other words, there might be a higher tendency to choose a specific person over another based on the data entered by humans.

For example, one person may be deemed unqualified for a certain job for not being a good speaker. The prediction, of the person not being a good speaker, may be biased, inaccurate, and based on false pretenses. AI has become a tool that can transform our entire future. This led some countries to consider establishing AI ministries, like the appointment of Omar bin Sultan Al Olama as a Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence in the UAE.

The term “Artificial Intelligence” was first used in 1979 by John McCarthy, a Mathematics Professor at Dartmouth University in the United States. McCarthy was looking for funding for his AI research, to prove that the machine can do all what humans do in terms of intelligence and learning.

After a stagnant period during  much of the 80s and 90s, AI came back in 1997 where it received huge attention after the “Deep Blue” system won the most renowned chess game that had the most popular player Garry Kasparov. After that, technology companies started working on developing the concept and including it in all fields, such as health, education, among others.

In the healthcare field, data like medical photos of some diseases and medical conditions are programmed, and the computer is trained to predict these diseases. AI algorithms could be used for the early diagnosis of oral cancer, thus enhancing efforts for prevention and cure of the disease.

In the education field, computers could grade students and tailor an educational program for each student based on his/her need. Through AI technology computers could also predict if a certain concept is not clear to students and should be repeated accordingly. And although AI can currently teach children the principles of mathematics or that of writing, it still has not reach the level which would make it capable of creative thinking for instance.

AI has become an integral of many fields and applications, such as advanced search on the internet, face recognition, and other trials to simulate the human brain in terms of thinking and theory building, in addition to auto-piloting, auto-sailing and stock exchange systems. AI can assist in the programming of language learning programs, by answering several questions previously programmed. More so, in 2018, China unveiled the first artificially intelligent news reader.

Thus, AI mimics the human mind and patterns of work through certain behavioral characteristics that are entered into the computer, which ultimately results in a computer that can analyze, learn, simulate, and carry out certain actions. Some argue that AI may save patients, as in the case of Apple Watch, where it could measure heartbeat and other vital functions and in the case of danger could call emergency numbers and thus, make a positive contribution to the individual’s life.

Google made multiple applications that use AI and human brain simulation, such as Google Al, which is an application for information facilitation and the organization of multiple fields. It uses AI technology to act as a personal assistant to answer questions, schedule dates, or carry on a conversation instead of you.

AI can be used to help us make better decisions, but we should not disregard our moral responsibility towards having a more inclusive technology that avoids machine bias through a more representative mechanisms of data entry.

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