People resisted, feared, and even were hostile to the introduction of computers. There was a prevalent abundance of “computer-phobia” in the early 1980s. According to Personal Computing by Charles Rubin, people feared breaking the computer, losing power, lacking control, or becoming a slave to it. The complex and intricate nature of computers made them seem intimidating to many individuals. The average person had limited exposure to computers and lacked the necessary knowledge and skills to operate them effectively. In addition, the fear of causing irreparable damage was a common concern.
Computers were seen as fragile and delicate devices that required expert handling, and the fear of making a mistake and damaging the technology was a significant source of anxiety. Computers were perceived as powerful machines capable of performing complex tasks and calculations, and some individuals worried that reliance on computers would lead to a loss of personal agency. The idea of becoming dependent on a machine for various aspects of life created a sense of unease and resistance.
In today’s digital age, does a new “computer-phobia” exist, a term I like to call “AI-phobia”? The complex nature of AI can make it difficult for individuals to grasp its inner workings. This lack of understanding can lead to feelings of uncertainty and fear. Popular culture often portrays AI as a malevolent force seeking to dominate humanity. These fictional narratives can perpetuate fears and misconceptions about AI.
While the newness of AI-enabled technology specifically in recruiting can create novelty, it can also facilitate anxiety. The Cambridge Handbook of Technology and Employee Behavior identifies a negative relationship between candidate anxiety and related outcomes like test performance. Therefore, candidates’ engagement with AI-enabled technology can lead to avoidance and unwillingness to participate in AI interviewing.
The Why Not
Here are solutions to help ease “AI-phobia” in recruitment:
1. AI Simplifies the Recruitment Process
By simplifying the recruitment process, AI enhances efficiency and effectiveness. One of the most time-consuming tasks in recruitment is screening a large number of resumes to identify qualified candidates. AI interviewing automates this process by using natural language processing algorithms to scan resumes for relevant skills, qualifications, and experience. This technology saves valuable time for recruiters, allowing them to focus on evaluating the most promising candidates.
By automating time-consuming administrative tasks, such as resume screening and scheduling interviews, AI allows recruiters to allocate their time and energy towards building relationships, conducting in-depth interviews, and assessing cultural fit. AI simply limits the scope of measuring candidates’ abilities.
2. AI Doesn’t do Rocket Science
AI interviewing enables the use of skills assessment tools to evaluate candidates’ technical proficiencies and abilities. Through online assessments or interactive platforms, candidates can demonstrate their skills, and AI algorithms can objectively analyze their performance. Additionally, AI-powered predictive analytics can help identify candidates with the highest potential for success, based on historical data and performance patterns.
3. AI Gives Everyone an Opportunity
Since AI interviewing acts as the first screening, it allows for flexibility and for the human recruiter to make the final decision. A candidate can complete the interview on their own time, unlike an in-person interview. AI interviews not only focus on merit, but also have the potential to foster fairness and inclusion. Traditional recruitment methods may inadvertently introduce biases based on factors such as gender, race, or age.
However, AI algorithms can be programmed to evaluate candidates solely based on their qualifications, skills, and performance, ensuring a fair and unbiased assessment. By focusing on objective criteria, AI helps eliminate human biases and promotes a more diverse and inclusive hiring process. This allows organizations to tap into talent from various backgrounds and experiences, leading to better overall outcomes and a more representative workforce.
While the emergence of AI may evoke fears and uncertainties akin to “computer-phobia” in the early 1980s, understanding its potential and embracing its benefits is essential. AI simplifies the recruitment process, promotes fairness, enhances the candidate experience, enables data-driven decision making, and empowers recruiters to focus on strategic aspects. By addressing the concerns around “AI-phobia” and emphasizing its positive impact, organizations can leverage AI-enabled recruitment tools to make more efficient, informed, and inclusive hiring decisions. When used ethically and responsibly, AI becomes a valuable ally, augmenting human capabilities and driving success in the ever-evolving world of recruitment.
Interviewer.AI is a technology platform purposely built to support Recruiters and HR teams in finding top talent for their companies. We also work with universities to help them with admissions and coaching, helping them use technology to solve for talent and training. Our mission is to make hiring equitable, explainable, and efficient. to screen in advance and shortlist the candidates that meet the criteria set.
Brynn Hochman is a Content Writer at Interviewer.AI. She thrives on communication and connection and ponders how the digital landscape will change with the emergence of AI technologies. She plans to go to law school to grow her critical thinking and communication skills.