Nov 24, 2018

How AI is being used to vet babysitters, screen applicants and watch employees

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

Coronavirus pushes traditional businesses into the digital age

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A slew of old-line industries that once hesitated to embrace digital technologies are now being forced to do so for the sake of survival.

Why it matters: Once consumers get used to accessing services digitally — from older restaurants finally embracing online ordering, or newspapers finally going all-digital — these industries may find it hard to go back to traditional operations.

America's grimmest month

Trump gives his Sunday press briefing in the Rose Garden. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Trump asked Americans to continue social distancing until April 30, officials warned that tens or even hundreds of thousands of Americans could die — and that's the least depressing scenario.

Why it matters: April is going to be very hard. But public health officials are in agreement that hunkering down — in our own homes — and weathering one of the darkest months in American history is the only way to prevent millions of American deaths.

Exclusive: Civil rights leaders oppose swift move off natural gas

Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Top American civil-rights activists are opposing an abrupt move away from natural gas, putting them at odds with environmentalists and progressive Democrats who want to ban fracking.

Driving the news: In recent interviews, Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and National Urban League President Marc Morial said energy costs are hitting people of color unfairly hard. These concerns, expressed before the coronavirus pandemic, are poised to expand as paychecks shrink across America.