20th February 2023

Can AI robots conduct interviews better than YOU?


Rapid advances in AI speech and text recognition 

For many, something that is guaranteed to cause at least a moment of discomfort is the suggestion that a man-made device of some sort may be able to do your job better than you. If the thought that you might be less smart than a machine doesn’t get you, then the prospect that you might lose your job and be replaced by a robot just might.

Artificial Intelligence Natural Language Processing (AI NLP) powered text and speech recognition robot interviewing devices have been around for a few years now. Current versions of these devices manifest themselves as a head and shoulders – a bust – sometimes with the features of a projected human face, male or female. Or they can be presented as on-screen avatars.

Whatever the form factor, they have been used as a way of reducing some of the workload. Filtering unsuitable candidates based on keywords is a leading capability. 

However, refinements include the capability of interpreting tone of voice to detect uncertainty and hesitancy. Essentially, it’s not just what someone says but also how it is said. Such data is used to identify a candidate’s confidence or lack of knowledge. 

Another key selling point is that careful programming means interview robots can be used to eliminate interviewer bias, making the hiring process fairer.

This level of sophistication may be nuanced, but it only represents a low-level threat to one of a recruiter’s core job of activities. However, that may be about to change…

Next-gen interviewing robots landing soon?

ChatGPT is all the rage at the moment. Its advanced Natural Language Processing (NLP) text and speech recognition capabilities are impressing millions of people who have signed up for free testing. And the technology is getting even better, fast – it actually ‘learns’ as more people interact with it. 

The disruptive power of technology is here for all to see. Microsoft has announced that similar technology it has been working on is to be integrated with Bing to create a next-gen intelligent search engine. The move pitches it into a race with Google to develop AI powered browsers, which saw its stock value take a hit of $163 billion following news of the Microsoft announcement.

Applying such technology may be a game-changer in many areas, including powering the next generation of RecTech. The potential for an advanced NLP powered interview robot is enormous.

As an example of its capabilities in completing complex communication tasks, a recruitment team unknowingly recommended ChatGPT for a job interview after the AI was used to complete a task as part of an application process. Less than 20% of applicants were shortlisted for consideration and ChatGPT was one of the few that made it!

Amongst many other examples, it is capable of emulating the styles of famous writers, taking exams and is even set to defend a human in court. Experts speculate that ChatGPT could replace 20% of the workforce in 5 years.

It should be noted though, ChatGPT developers and other leading experts in advanced NLP technology have cautioned that it is only as good as the programming and the source data that it works with.

However advanced RecTech in general and interview robots in particular become, humans should still have the last word, especially when it comes to analysing answers to open-ended questions. The best practice should be to let robots transcribe interviewees’ answers and let a professional human recruiter assess them.

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