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Jessie Battaglia has started using Predictim to find a new babysitter for her son. Photo: Kyle Grillot for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Predictim, an online service that uses artificial intelligence to assess a babysitter’s personality, scans candidates' Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts to offer automated "risk ratings" for drug abuse, bullying, harassment, being disrespectful or having a bad attitude, the WashPost's Drew Harwell writes. Dozens of firms are also selling employers "systems that analyze a person’s speech, facial expressions and online history."

Why it matters: "The technology is reshaping how some companies approach recruiting, hiring and reviewing workers, offering employers an unrivaled look at job candidates through a new wave of invasive psychological assessment and surveillance."

Details:

  • "[T]he recruitment-technology firm HireVue, which works with companies such as Geico, Hilton and Unilever, offers a system that automatically analyzes applicants' tone, word choice and facial movements during video interviews to predict their skill and demeanor on the job. (Candidates are encouraged to smile for best results.)"
  • Fama, a tech firm, "says it uses AI to police workers' social media for 'toxic behavior' and alert their bosses."

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats' billionaires tax explained

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

There is now legislative language behind the push to tax American billionaires on unrealized capital gains, as Sen. Ron Wyden last night released his 107-page plan.

Why it matters: This would be a sea change in U.S. tax policy, which has only applied to realized gains (otherwise known as income).

2 hours ago - World

Scoop: Blinken protests Israel settlements approval in "tense" phone call

Benny Gantz (L) and Tony Blinken. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/Pool/AFP via Getty

Secretary of State Tony Blinken protested the decision to approve 3,000 new housing units in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank during a tense phone call on Tuesday with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, three Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: This is the first time new construction in the settlements has been approved since President Biden assumed office, and the Biden administration had been privately pressing the Israeli government not to proceed.

The startup that wants to disrupt big internet providers

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

A new startup backed by funding from AOL founder Steve Case and Laurene Powell Jobs wants to break up broadband monopolies across the country.

Why it matters: Internet access has been crucial during the pandemic, but it's not ubiquitous, and it can be both slow and unaffordable in swaths of the country.