Algorithmic Discrimination in Employment
Employers use algorithms to help make all manner of employment decisions. Algorithms determine which people will see which job postings. An algorithm's guesses about a person's race, gender, age, or other demographic information will determine which advertisements they are shown.
Once a person applies for a job, algorithms scan resumes, CVs, cover letters, and writing samples to determine which applicants are worthy of interviews.
When a person interviews for a job, algorithms may analyze their facial features, expressions, gestures, body language, and even voice to determine whether they are a good fit for the position and the culture.
Though algorithms are often assigned these tasks, they aren't inherently "better" at the task than a human is; they simply make the same human decisions (filled with potential prejudices and biases) faster. In fact, the algorithms involved rarely look to the future when selecting a candidate, because they're designed to look at a data set -- something that happened in the past -- and replicate a decision. This is a real problem. Many places of work have long histories of prejudice against women, people of color, and other minorities, so these algorithms are often (inadvertently) re-enacting these prejudices.
Why is something so incredibly important to humans -- a job that could mean the difference between being comfortable and struggling to survive, or perhaps the fulfillment of a lifelong dream -- delegated to algorithms that aren't able to witness and appreciate a person's story?