Is AI Helping or Hurting DE&I?

AI is increasingly being used by HR and hiring professionals to supplement their recruitment efforts. While the use of AI in these areas is meant to coincide with, support, and reinforce Diversity & Inclusion in the workplace, AI systems in hiring can, in fact, have the opposite effect.

As Steve Nour, the Head of Data Science and AI at Australian Computer Society writing for Forbes, states: “AI systems are built on learning from data, and if the data is skewed as per the view of the person building it, it can have major consequences...If there is implicit bias in the system, it can be unjust to some people.”

So what role does DEI play in AI?

According to Nour: “Diversity holds great importance because we want to make sure that when an AI system makes a call, it will be able to make accurate decisions...Due to the lack of diverse engineers and researchers, the products that are developed and used by billions of users may result in the propagation of bias on a large scale. Hence, inclusion and diversity in AI are crucial.”

In other words, AI has only elevated the need for diverse and inclusive workplaces. The perspectives and backgrounds of all kinds of people must be integral to the development of AI and similar systems in order to prevent widespread bias. Organizations and their leaders must take on the responsibility of hiring and developing inclusive leaders equipped to advance workplace diversity and inclusion.

"Therefore, diversity in AI is necessary to avoid bias in the roots of these systems," Nour asserts. "The actual problem is polarizing and systemic, and it demands inclusion and true ownership."