Subconscious bias on the part of potential employers could become a thing of the past, thanks to a'robo-interviewer' currently in development. Tengai, a torso-less robot that speaks and smiles, will judge you purely on your abilities - leaving race, gender and other potentially influencing factors aside. Sweden's largest recruitment company TNG is already using the robot with the human-like interface in a series of trials. Tengai (pictured), the torso-less robot that speaks and smiles, is being trained at Sweden's largest recruitment company TNG to learn to conduct interviews through AI technology. Furhat is a social robot created by Stockholm-based startup Furhat Robotics.
According to a recent TNG survey, 73 percent of job seekers in Sweden believe they've been discriminated against during the job application process. By replacing the human recruiter with Tengai, TNG and Furhat believe they can make the screening process more fair while still providing a "human" touch. "I was quite sceptical at first before meeting Tengai, but after the meeting I was absolutely struck," healthcare recruiter Petra Elisson, who has been involved in the testing, told the BBC. "At first I really, really felt it was a robot, but when going more deeply into the interview I totally forgot that she's not human." As for ensuring that Tengai doesn't reflect the biases of its creators and training data -- a problem that has cropped up with other AIs -- Furhat's chief scientist, Gabriel Skantze, told the BBC the company is making it a point to conduct test interviews with a diverse mix of recruiters and volunteers before Tengai is ever in the position to actually decide an applicant's employment fate.
A 16-inch tall robot-recruiter named Tengai could be the future of job interviews. Tengai is programmed to conduct every interview the exact same way. She doesn't engage in pre-interview chit-chat, and asks every question in the same tone and order. Tengai then sends a transcript to human employers containing only the interviewee's answers, eliminating any bias or inherited prejudices.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is well and truly on the rise across many sectors and industries. In fact, there's probably been a point where you've asked yourself: "could my job be taken over by a robot?". For recruiters, this could be an extremely likely possibility. Research into the HR and recruitment industries has found that 70% of HR managers believe the recruitment process would be more effective if it were more data-driven and, because of the technological advances in the industry, an increase in the use of AI would be an obvious solution to this problem. However, many could argue that an increase in AI will lead to jobs being put at risk – but should we simply embrace this change and prepare for new roles to open up within the sector?