We are creating some awesome events for you. Kindly bear with us.

NYC Aims to be First to Regulate AI Hiring Tools

Hidden Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools are usually rejecting job candidates’ resumes or analysing their video interviews without them know knowing. But New York City residents could soon get more say over the computers making behind-the-scenes decisions about their careers.

A bill passed by the city council would ban employers from using automated hiring tools unless a yearly bias audit can show they will not discriminate based on an applicant’s race or gender. It would also force makers of those AI tools to disclose more about their opaque workings and give candidates the option of choosing an alternative process—such as a human—to review their application.

This measure aims to open a window into the complex algorithms that rank the skills and personalities of job applicants based on how they speak or what they write. More employers, from fast-food chains to Wall Street banks, are relying on such tools to speed up recruitment, hiring and workplace evaluations.

Some AI experts and digital rights activists are concerned that it does not go far enough to curb bias and say it could set a weak standard for federal regulators and lawmakers to ponder as they examine ways to rein in harmful AI applications that exacerbate inequities in society.

The proposal only aims to protect against racial or gender bias, leaving out the trickier-to-detect bias against disabilities or age. The legislation would impose fines on employers or employment agencies of up to $1,500 per violation—though it will be left up to the vendors to conduct the audits and show employers that their tools meet the city’s requirements.

The best parts of the proposal are its disclosure requirements to let people know they are being evaluated by a computer and where their data is going. This will shine a light on the features that these tools are using.

– Julia Stoyanovich, Associate Professor of Computer Science, New York University’s Centre for Responsible AI

However, there was also a concern about the effectiveness of bias audits of high-risk AI tools—a concept that’s also being examined by the White House, federal agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and lawmakers in Congress and the European Parliament. The burden of these audits falls on the vendors of the tools to show that they comply with some rudimentary set of requirements that are very easy to meet.

The Greater New York Chamber of Commerce said the city’s employers are also unlikely to see the new rules as a burden. Transparency is what matters and employers should know that hiring firms are using these algorithms and software, and employees should also be aware of it.

A reported by OpenGov Asia, U.S. researchers have been utilising AI for various purposes including finding COVID Antiviral Discovery. Since the beginning of the pandemic, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have been using AI to search through a vast number of small molecules to find usable drug candidates. Recently, they have utilised new computing hardware to speed the process, reducing searches that might have originally taken years to mere minutes.

The advantage of using AI, according to Brettin, is that it can quickly adapt to and accommodate chemical structures that it has never seen and that has never been synthesised and do not exist in nature. ​Artificial intelligence gives us both the speed and flexibility that pure physics-based computation would have a very hard time achieving.

In tests on a large dataset of small molecules, the researchers found they could achieve 20 million predictions, or inferences, a second, vastly reducing the time needed for each search. Once the best candidates were found, the researchers identified which ones could be obtained commercially and had them tested on human cells.

Send this to a friend