Keith Sonderling, a commissioner at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), is ushering in a vital conversation around the role and implications of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the workplace, especially within the realm of hiring and recruitment. In a recent dialogue with POLITICO, Sonderling underscored the monumental scale at which AI can potentially influence employment decisions, impacting hundreds of thousands or even millions of job applicants.
AI in Recruitment: A Powerful Tool with Potential Pitfalls
With the advent of AI, the landscape of recruitment has dramatically changed. However, Sonderling is adamant that the introduction of AI does not invalidate the existing civil rights laws. Whether the bias stems from an AI tool or a human, the EEOC is well-equipped and ready to enforce these laws. A survey conducted last year by the Society for Human Research Management revealed that 79% of AI's application in the workplace is in recruitment and hiring, a significant statistic calling for attention and regulation.
The EEOC's Role in AI's Workplace Integration
Sonderling is championing for the EEOC to take a front seat in ensuring compliance with these laws by all stakeholders - employers, investors, and legislators alike. While acknowledging the limitations of EEOC's resources, he emphasized the dire need for raising awareness and potentially expanding the commission's authority or funding. This increase in resource allocation, as sanctioned by Congress, would allow the EEOC to effectively investigate AI systems and their underlying algorithms.
AI and the Future of Employment
As AI continues to weave itself into the fabric of employment processes, the role of institutions like the EEOC becomes even more critical. The future of recruitment is not devoid of AI; however, it needs to be a future where the enforcement of civil rights laws is not compromised. The conversation Sonderling is spearheading is a step in the right direction, setting the stage for a balanced integration of AI into the workplace.