Friday Faves is our weekly blog series highlighting a few select pieces from the REG team’s reading lists. You can catch up on past Friday Faves on the archive

We tested AI interview tools. Here’s what we found.

Anne says: I think we’re all familiar with the concept of AI (artificial intelligence) and various uses in our business and personal contexts. So for me, this article talking about AI interview tools was no surprise and actually seemed like it made good business sense. What I wasn’t expecting was the results!

I wasn’t expecting perfection, based on other contexts and experiences. However, this was a classic example of AI going off-piste! I recall when psychometric testing was introduced (showing my years of experience a little too much here!) and how quickly it was adopted as an objective guarantee for selection – we’re still paying that price and relying too heavily on socially constructed bias built into those tools. Now we have AI tools to contend with!

The review by the authors was well constructed, thoroughly preparing a job role and candidate. Then the interviews took place and things went a little weird from there. The two tools tested by the team were designed to measure the Big Five personality traits including openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and emotional stability. These traits are challenging to measure which could suggest a great opportunity for AI to assist in this role. But…it gets really interesting when their candidate answered in German and receiving a score of 6 out of 9 for English competency.

Interestingly, one of the products tested was not using the content of the responses, it was evaluating her voice, the intonations to score their personality traits. Read the transcript that shows how the AI was translating German into English gibberish, but still scoring her responses.

The article includes some valuable discussion about testing personality traits and the bias of algorithms. The conclusion recommends moving with caution and avoiding reliance on tools like this. Remember, the AI-powered tool evaluated German answers based on voice intonation. It highlights the challenges we still face with recruitment and the use of tools. Meanwhile, in lockdowns and restrictions, where face to face interviews are less common, there is a danger that the reliance on tools such as these become more dominant. For now, I think it’s timely to remember the impact of context and interviewing remotely is going to be extra challenging. Let’s use some old fashioned (albeit remote) conversations to try to understand and get to know applicants rather than relying on tools that may not reflect the characteristics we’re looking for.

Caveat: This is not an anti-AI rant – I am fully supportive of AI being integrated into business. In fact, this is a good summary article of where AI is being used successfully.

Read & listen (30 min): https://www.technologyreview.com/2021/07/07/1027916/we-tested-ai-interview-tools/

Why bad design can actually be good

Jakkii says: This is a great read on bad design – what it is, and how it can be a force for good. The author, Ken Carbone, discusses the transformative power of bad design with Ayse Birsel, industrial designer and one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business, and Allan Chochinov, chair and cofounder of the MFA in Products of Design Program at New York’s School of Visual Arts. They discuss how you evaluate design – considering intellect, emotion, physicality, spirit – and explore an example of bad design and the challenges of reframing the design problem to turn bad into good, before discussing the role of technology.

I can’t help but think about how technology saved us during COVID-19. We were able to shelter in place and still have some semblance of human contact, productivity, and joy through technology. Work continued online. We were able to connect with our families and friends online. Our kids went to school online and even graduated online. We shopped, entertained ourselves, threw parties online, and the world truly became connected.

It finishes by touching on some of the design problems we currently face, in a mid-pandemic world looking ahead to a post-pandemic one, trying to determine what that will look like and how we best design and manage hybrid environments, how we best design technology and products to support new ways of working and different social and education needs in a world so changed by covid. In the end, it leaves us with a question so many of us are grappling with: what do we really use the office for, and how can we think creatively to redesign work so that we can best use space – including digital & virtual space – to achieve our desired outcomes, instead of doing things the way they have always been done, just because they have always been done that way? It is a slim silver lining we can take from having our worlds upended – the opportunity to shape something new, to make good from bad – or even better from good, depending on your starting place. What a moment! Now, we just have to seize it.

Read: https://www.fastcompany.com/90655475/why-bad-design-can-actually-be-good

Around the house

Jakkii says: Another week, another lockdown. It’s tough out there this far into the pandemic with no end in sight. While you’re staying home and staying safe, make sure you’re looking after you and staying sane too. Here are a few things to help keep you occupied this week.

Friday Fives

Hybrid workplace and the future of work

Remote work and the digital workplace

Communication, collaboration, engagement, and culture

Community management, moderation and misinformation

Privacy and data

Big Tech, tech and regulation

Social media

Extras

This is interesting: Could AI keep people ‘alive’ after death?

Things that make you go hmmm: Creepy animals deserve to be saved from destruction, too

Space: The joyride era of space travel is here

Podcast: How to take your diversity strategy from intention to impact

Friday playlist: BAT FOR LASHES optimistic playlist


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