HRIntelligencer v2.02

On January 10, 2018, in HR Intelligencer, HRExaminer, John Sumser, by John Sumser
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This week’s stash of insight includes an argument against using technology to eliminate bias. Not only is bias a healthy and normal part of human function, eliminating it is the stuff of fantasy. More interesting, and covered in another article, is the idea that the biases inherent in algorithms can and will be gamed. Meanwhile, the average Jolene is learning to read multiple sources on a given topic. The trust in news sources is in decline. People are learning new skills.


Big Picture


  • New York City’s Bold, Flawed Attempt to Make Algorithms Accountable. ““What we’re finding is that the world of algorithms is one ugly wormhole. In insulating algorithms and their creators from public scrutiny, rather than responding to civic concerns about bias and discrimination, the existing system propagates the myth that those algorithms are objective and fair. There’s no reason to believe either.”
  • The Rise of Skeptical Reading. Unlike technology, culture changes slowly. But, when it changes, it changes for a long time. We are moving into an era where everyone has to consume multiple data sources in order to make sense. It has significant implications for communicationg with our audiences.


HR’s View


  • Design for How People Think. Don Norman presents the case against eliminating bias. Many ‘AI’ tools in HRTech claim to minimize or eliminate bias in HR decision making. In this 3 minute video, Norman argues that biases are the essence of the strength of human decision makers. That technology should be designed to take advantage of our biases. That our biases work for us.








Quote of the Week


“There is a quiet revolution in the making. It’s about how people make sense of the news. Barely perceptible amidst the loudness of commentary about bots, trolls, fake news, echo chambers, filter bubbles, confirmation bias, artificial intelligence, and so on is the realization that readers, listeners, viewers, and users are becoming ever more skeptical about the information they encounter in the news and social media. And that’s a good thing. Skepticism is a necessary, albeit not sufficient, condition for the emergence of sustainable solutions regarding a potential state of misinformation marking contemporary politics and culture.” – from The Rise of Skeptical Reading



Curate means a variety of things: from the work of vicar entrusted with the care of souls to that of an exhibit designer responsible for clarity and meaning. At the core, it means something about the importance of empathy in organization. HRIntelligencer is an update on the comings and goings in the Human Resource experiment with Artificial Intelligence, Digital Employees, Algorithms, Machine Learning, Big Data and all of that stuff. We present a few critical links with some explanation. The goal is to give you a way to surf the rapidly evolving field without drowning in information. We offer a timeless curation of the intersection of HR and the machines that serve it. We curate the emergence of Machine Led Decision Making in HR.

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From an Interview

John Sumser will be speaking at the Smart Recruiters’ users’ conference in March 2018. Here’s the text of an interview...