Amazon has reportedly discarded an internal artificial intelligence (AI) hiring tool that used to help the team by automatically sorting through applicants’ resumes to shortlist the most promising ones. If you are wondering the reason behind such a move, here’s what the issue was – the company’s experimental hiring tool was biased against female candidates.
According to a report by Reuters, the system taught itself to prefer male candidates over female ones based on data submitted by applicants for software developer jobs and other technical posts over a 10-year period.
A five-member team at the Seattle company developed the tool in 2014 to give candidates scores ranging from one to five stars, Reuters quoted some people as saying. However, the company soon realized the flaw in the system and that was its inability to rate applicants in a gender-neutral way.
Since the system was trained on data acquired from CVs submitted from males mostly, it started to ignore the one from female applicants (a reflection of the technology industry indeed).
The program was eventually fixed for gender-bias issue but the company had to abandon the project last year as some other issues cropped up too. The tool “was never used by Amazon recruiters to evaluate candidates,” a source told Reuters. It was only used in trials and not independently or in larger groups, the company claimed.