Algorithms against Stereotypes: SAP's HR Software Filters (Unconscious) Bias, Creates Fair HR Software

"SAP is betting that artificial intelligence can help eliminate bias in hiring and employee performance reviews.
The tech giant has been particularly vocal about improving gender and ethnic diversity (...)."

The new features include data crunching that flags potentially biased language in job descriptions that could unintentionally limit a pool of candidates (...). Descriptors such as "rock star" or "ninja" in a job description, for example, could have the unintended effect of discouraging female candidates, so the SuccessFactors software might "suggest" alternate nouns. The company is also working on similar alerts for its performance review module as well as systems used to help with planning executive successions.

In simple terms, these alerts are like grammar checkers you might find in a word-processing application. Only these are designed to flag terms that could hint at a pattern of unconscious bias. The idea is to bring these habits to managers’ and employees’ attention so that, over time, they occur less frequently, according to SAP."


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image via SAP

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