In just a few weeks, I’ll be speaking at the CBIA’s Employment Law Conference on the topic of “Artificial Intelligence & Analytics for HR: Recruiting, Retention & Engagement”.

As I was speaking to the moderator about potential subjects of our discussion, we were arguing over whether AI is something for the future or something for now.

A news item in the Washington Post today is clearly one to put on the column for “now”.

Designed by the recruiting-technology firm HireVue, the system uses candidates’ computer or cellphone cameras to analyze their facial movements, word choice and speaking voice before ranking them against other applicants based on an automatically generated “employability” score.

HireVue’s “AI-driven assessments” have become so pervasive in some industries, including hospitality and finance, that universities make special efforts to train students on how to look and speak for best results. More than 100 employers now use the system, including Hilton, Unilever and Goldman Sachs, and more than a million job seekers have been analyzed.

The technology raises the debate: Is it “pseudoscience” and “a license to discriminate” as one critic called it, or “more objective than the flawed metrics used by human recruiters” as one of HireVue’s executives noted?

The answer, of course, is a lot more complicated than that.  AI is still in its infancy and is prone to errors.  Just ask Amazon, which had to scrap an secret AI tool, that showed a bias against women.

And so, employers who want to be on the cutting edge of technology need to under that legal risks still exist.  Disparate impact claims are ripe for the asking for a company that uses AI in a way that has a disproportionate impact on a protected group.

Interested in more on the subject? Be sure to sign up for the program on November 15th starting at 8:30a at the Hartford Marriott Farmington.

I’ll be speaking along with Doug Smith, Sr., Vice President Client Services at Tallan, Inc.  See you there.