Science & Tech

This disturbing Russian bot could decide whether you get a job or not

Robot Vera

We only have to look around us to realise that robots and computers are taking over our lives and jobs.

They are literally everywhere. In the supermarket. On the train. On social media. It's an epidemic. How will we survive?

On the contrary, what if they could actually help us with our jobs, or even assist in finding new ones? Well, a new Russian start-up may actually be able to do that.

The company, called Vera, has created a virtual job interviewer, known as Robot Vera, who is capable of talking to 1,500 candidates in a single day.

This astonishing work rate could potentially help businesses ten-fold and she even sends follow-up emails and doesn't need a break because she's a computer program - or as she's technically known, 'an artificially intelligent software technology'.

According to The Washington Post,200 companies in Russia, including IKEA, are already using Vera as a part of their recruitment process.

Speaking to The Post, Vera's co-founder Alexei Kostarev explained the idea behind the invention.

We wanted to create something that functioned like Uber for job recruitment, but instead of calling a car, a company would be able to call a pool of people looking for a job.

Right now, we have 200 companies using Robot Vera, which means the software is conducting about 50,000 interviews a day.

At the moment Vera can only speak English or Russia, but does select all the potential candidates herself, contact them and also conduct a video interview.

Just to make sure anyone isn't completely freaked out by talking to a computer, Vera does introduce herself as a robot and can even respond to questions, but only gets it right 82 per cent of the time.

Kostarev explains how a usual eight-minute interview tends to go:

When you answer the phone, she says ‘Hi, my name is Vera, and I am a robot — are you still looking for a job?'

If the answer is ‘yes,’ Vera can conduct an interview over the phone or by video interview.

Once a successful employee is found they are passed onto a human recruiter who will make the final decision as to whether they should hire the individual.

Obviously, this will dramatically cut down the workload for many companies who are hiring new people, and candidates have reportedly responded well when talking to Vera.

Kostarev adds that he doesn't think that Vera should be used for recruiting executives, but that AI will become more common in the workplace.

 As far as searches for executive hires, I don’t see any opportunities for the robot to do that job.

Humans can do it much better. What I do see is that recruiters will begin managing AI more and more and using it as a tool to do their job more efficiently.

HT IFL Science

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