Feeds

Google's job robot weeds out puny humans

'I'm sorry, I can't hire you Dave...'

New hybrid storage solutions

The Church of the Algorithm, Google, is employing a robot to select the faithful.

According to the New York Times today, an algorithm scans job applications and ranks candidates on a score from 0 to 100. From next month, it will be used to screen all applications.

The Times quotes Google's "Vice President of People Operations" (as opposed to Machine Operations) , who explains -

"With traditional hiring methods, we were worried we will overlook some of the best candidates."

That's one way of putting it. Because the demand for jobs at Google outstrips the supply of vacancies, it's more accurate to say that the robot is simply accelerating the rejection process.

Google Network needs Troopers

Google is famous for its faith in reductionist, functional solutions. It even likes to suggest that such algorithms emerge spontaneously, full of natural goodness - and without apparent intervention by imperfect humans. Answering accusations of bias in Google News, the manager responsible for the service is on the record as explaining -

"The truth is, Google News doesn't have a point of view...It's a computer, and computers do not understand these topics the way humans do and can't be systematically biased in any direction." [see Google News' chief robot speaks out ]

(And they don't taste of bacon, either.)

However, as we discovered when we interviewed the creator of an "Artificial Intelligence Chat-bot", programmers who develop algorithms tend to encode their own shortcomings into the systems they create. [see Do Artificial Intelligence Chatbots look like their programmers? ]

And the Times confirms that the job-bot's selection criteria is based on surveys from existing staff. One of the indicators is ominously called "organizational citizenship". No square pegs in those round holes, then.

In Douglas Coupland's Microserfs, the company's monoculture is enforced by obedience to the cult of personality - top down. By contrast, Google appears to be developing its monoculture from the bottom-up. But it's still a monoculture - and one only likely to be reinforced by algorithmic rejection of "unsuitable" candidates.

As we discussed here recently, an algorithmically-minded corporation is ill-equipped likely to miss problems that can't be solved algorithmically. No robot can wish them away.

If you have an amusing experience of Google's recruitment practices - successful or otherwise - share it with us here. We'll set our own robot on the replies, and pick out the ones whose opinions most closely resemble our own.

(Just kidding). ®

Related link

Google Answer to Filling Jobs Is an Algorithm - NY Times

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Chelyabinsk-sized SURPRISE asteroid to skim Earth, satnav birds
Space rock appears out of nowhere, buzzes planet on Sunday
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet
Probe prepares to make first landing on fast-moving rock
Square Kilometre Array reveals its 1.6TB-a-day storage and network rigs
Boolardy Engineering Test Array - aka BETA - is about to come out of Beta
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.