EEOC launches offensive against AI at work.

For years, artificial intelligence has been the next big thing, touted as the technology poised to transform how all kinds of business processes are conceived, developed and performed. Now, what was once a tantalizing promise seems on the verge of becoming a revolutionary reality. AI is all over the news.

Look no further than the recent media frenzy covering ChatGTP, a generative AI platform purported to be capable of doing everything from writing news articles like this one to helping consumers fight traffic tickets in court.

According to the Gartner business advisory firm, 37% of organizations have already implemented AI in some form.

Artificial intelligence encompasses a broad category of software systems that use computers to simulate the usual application of human intelligence, supercharged by the speed of digital processing. Sometimes called machine learning, AI is being deployed to design products, streamline systems, make better business decisions--and make better business decisions about people.

HR departments worldwide have begun using AI systems to select candidates to hire and improve employee performance.

But for all its advantages, AI software can have a dark downside: It is just as capable of making bad decisions as people are. After all, fallible human beings design AI systems.

In the HR context, the EEOC has taken notice. Its 2023 strategic enforcement plan identifies the commission's highest priority as "eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring practices" by focusing enforcement efforts on "the use of automatic systems, including artificial intelligence or machine learning...."

To achieve that goal, the EEOC has begun investigating how employers use AI to:

* Target job advertisements

* Recruit applicants

* Make hiring decisions.

The agency's main concern is that AI programs may unintentionally exclude members of protected groups from being considered for open positions...

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