Amazon artificial intelligence hiring computer says ‘no’ to all women

Amazon today admitted it had made an awkward discovery about its Artificial Intelligence hiring process – the computer does not like women.

The AI, brought in in 2014, was supposed to revolutionise, among other things, the hiring of staff by big firms with a computer programme sorting through hundreds of CVs and finding the best five.

But the tech giant said the failure came after AI based its conclusions on the pattern of CVs submitted to the company over 10 years. Since most came from men, the computer learned those applications were better, it emerged today.

CVs that even included the word “women” were penalised. Graduates of all-women colleges were downgraded. The retail giant disbanded its AI recruitment team last year as executives realised the flaws could not be fixed.

Amazon’s hiring tool reportedly used artificial intelligence to give job candidates scores ranging from one to five stars, much like shoppers rate products on Amazon.

A source told Reuters: “Everyone wanted this holy grail. They literally wanted it to be an engine where I’m going to give you 100 resumes, it will spit out the top five, and we’ll hire those.”

According to surveys, more than half of US human resources managers expect AI to be a regular part of their work in the near future.

Amazon says it now only uses a “much-watered-down version” of the AI recruiter.