Forty percent of employers worldwide already use artificial intelligence (AI). Though most people see potential for AI to enhance productivity and efficiency and perhaps handle some of the rote tasks that keep human workers from more innovative endeavors, few people have thought of AI being used to read a person’s thoughts and emotions. It comes as a surprise to many people that AI is already being employed to read the minds of job candidates.
At this juncture, an AI platform called Xander analyzes interview results from interviews conducted via teleconference. Because the applicant is answering questions into a video camera on their computer, it is easy for Xander to analyze the individual’s facial expressions and tonality to judge their answers. Based on a preset criteria, Xander analyzes the applicant’s enthusiasm, honesty, emotional state, and other factors. A report then goes to the hiring manager, who uses it to decide if the candidate should be called for a face-to-face interview.
Ever wonder why you never got a call back after a virtual interview? Xander results may be the reason. The accuracy of Xander’s conclusions are debatable, but it is clear that its reports are already affecting the hiring process at many companies.
Many employers and tech companies have plans to increase Xander’s use in the future. Xander, and other similar applications, could be employed in the workplace rather than just during teleconference interviews. The application could monitor employees throughout the workday, analyzing their facial expressions and tonality to determine their real thoughts and emotions.
Most employees do not share their innermost feelings in the workplace. If you are in a bad mood, you probably try to put on a happy face. If you are unhappy about a policy, you might keep quiet about it. If you do not like part of your job, you probably grin and bear it. If the bosses announce a new policy and you think it stinks, you probably would prefer they did not know your internal reaction.
Employing AI to judge these internal reactions has become a hot topic in tech. The technology can easily be employed through ubiquitous cameras in the workplace, such as cameras built into computers. Employers are likely to use it to gauge things like employee morale, loyalty, enthusiasm, and like or dislike of certain tasks, things, and people.
Today, bosses use their interactions with employees and evaluations of performance to make personnel decisions. Tomorrow, they will have a Xander report. This begs the question, would Xander’s conclusions be correct in the first place? After all, the robot might conclude you are dispirited and lack motivation. Instead, though, you may be dealing with issues in your personal life that have bled into your behavior in the office. With artificial intelligence, results are very much black and white, and therefore do not account for the shades of gray we experience daily.