We’re about to hand over the keys to the kingdom.
If you ask Elon Musk, it’s possible we already have.
That’s right: Artificial Intelligence is creeping into every area of our lives. It’s more than just robots vacuuming the carpet and talking to our kids. AI is now a big part of the Microsoft strategy. Your least favorite but most used application of all time (that would be PowerPoint) can generate slides automatically with just a click and can write captions, making us all seem a little superfluous in some ways.
That’s not an overstatement. In a New Yorker article this week (that is not online quite yet), there was a side comment about how a factory in China figured out how to produce the same number of parts using robots and with around 50,000 fewer employees. In Michigan, there’s a new law that says your car does not need a steering wheel. What’s really happening is that computers are becoming more powerful, the programming is now more ambitious, and we’re getting used to AI being in control.
Now, a company called Opportunity is figuring out how to use AI to analyze job candidates and eliminate the classic in-person interview. Wouldn’t that be nice? Or is it maybe a little unrealistic?
Here’s the basic idea. Opportunity runs a social network, and an algorithm scans millions of online resumes. The company’s FAQ says: “Opportunity connects you with people you should know, not people you already know.” The algorithm can search LinkedIn, for example, and find the best candidates. It looks for things like Industry Types, Skills, Location, Employment Type, and Company Size. The service can also scan for sales leads from your existing contacts.
Of course, I immediately started picturing how the AI could even make this possible. Let’s say you’re searching for a marketing rep. Normally, you start wading through countless resumes and interview the best people for the job. But what if the AI was capable of determining, using machine learning, which candidates you usually hire? Maybe you require a certain set of skills, prefer a college degree in a specific field, and like to see some involvement with the candidate’s local community. It’s easy to see how you might rely on the AI to find prospects that are a perfect match. You might even decide you won’t need to conduct the interview because the AI already knows the match is ideal.
That last part might seem like a stretch. Maybe we’re hesitant to remove the human element — do you get along with the person, does the team approve, do the long-term career objectives match up? At the very least, I can see how a job search AI would eliminate the initial interview, the one that is meant purely for information-gathering and to cover the basics. And the interview process could run much more smoothly for you if the AI has already determined the person has the best skills and background.
And yet — at some point in the future, an AI could also conduct the interview itself. Maybe it would know enough about your team and your working style, or maybe you could teach it to understand why you have hired certain candidates in the past, and it could handle the interview on your behalf. Someone needs to build a chatbot that does that. Then a candidate might only show up for the final “approval” interview (a.k.a., the “second interview”) after having been fully vetted by the AI.
Share your opinion on Facebook or with me directly. Do you think this could work?