Can AI decide your suitability for a job based on your facial expressions?

June 21, 2023

This content originally appeared on NRF Connections.

A big question, but not out of the realms of possibility.

As noted in a recent Financial Times article, there are varying ways in which AI can be, and is being, incorporated into the recruitment process. It certainly is already in use and has been for years, for example searching keywords in CV’s for that initial candidate pool review, but with the recent boom in generative AI there seems to be more and more possibility for its inclusion. Whether that is from the applicants end, using ChatGPT to generate CV’s and covering letters, or from the recruiters side using interview tools capable of assessing a candidate's performance via video.

Having seen a few of these applications advertised myself, I am concerned, as I am sure others are, about the science behind such data point analysis. I am not a scientist, but I have observed that the consensus on facial expressions and meaning is far from settled. Could it be that neurodiverse job applicants might be prejudiced by such screening if they don’t react in what might be considered a standard manner to questions?

There is scope for bias during the in-person recruitment process and there is scope for bias when using AI. As with any new development, it is important to proceed with caution and care, so as to manage both the benefits and risks accordingly.