An article appeared today (https://www.thenewdaily.com.au/life/tech/2023/12/04/bunnings-ai-chatbot)
on how Bunnings, part of the Wesfarmers group, who also own Coles, Kmart, Officeworks and Wesfarmers Industrial and Safety brands, interviews potential candidates.
The articles states: ‘People applying for jobs at Bunnings may need to do their initial interview with an AI chatbot that doles out personality traits and coaching tips.
According to Bunnings, the AI chatbot is used for job openings with a high number of applicants and was introduced for certain roles in 2020.’
Things do not look like they are working out that well.
Dr Dana McKay, senior lecturer in Innovative Interactive Technologies at RMIT University, states:
‘There is a lack of understanding about the underlying data sets that populate these AI models,’ … ‘People believe there is no bias because the computer made the decision.’
Your first contact in an organisation looking for employees is at the interview stage. This is a social interaction and sets the tone for the continuing relationship for the candidate.
You don’t get a second chance at a first impression. https://safetyrisk.net/do-we-only-get-one-shot-at-a-first-impression/
But Wesfarmers’ Diverse, Inclusive and Respectful Workplaces Policy states the following;
‘At Wesfarmers, everyone has a part to play in actively and intentionally behaving with inclusion in mind.
Across the Wesfarmers workforce, management and the Board:
(a) Value the diversity of our team members and a culture of inclusion at all levels and in our parts of our Group because it ensures all team members feel respected and safe and enables us to achieve our objective’
To be interviewed by an AI/ChatBot/Robot is the first step to dehumanising a person. In an effort to be Efficient https://safetyrisk.net/the-best-options-in-safety-are-not-always-efficient/ Wesfarmers has totally disregarded the human. The ultimate in Technique (Ellul) is to eliminate the human.
Talking to AI will not help you understand a person https://safetyrisk.net/the-brain-as-computer-myth/
What we see in this is further distancing by large organisations in an effort to deliver higher profits and less workers.
We now have self-serve checkouts, with no interaction with staff, except the loss prevention officer watching like a hawk, checking to see if you have stolen something.
In fast food restaurants you talk to a box and then ‘tap and go’ at the checkout window then get handed a bag, with a pre-canned message of ‘have a nice day’. What does any of this have to do with safety?
In the Social Psychology of Risk we often talk about by-products and trade-offs https://safetyrisk.net/a-creative-safety-initiative-but-beware-of-the-by-products/. It is amazing how little foresight is explored in the strategies implemented by organisations without considering trajectory.
One of the major concerns for these organisations is ‘employee safety’ particularly, as aggression now is on the rise at retail and fast food restaurants. This was the result of a trade-off for efficiency. And most organisations still do not see what the trajectory is. Talk about psychosocial harm!
Unless we consider the social trade-offs of bright ideas like AI chatbots for interviews, the dehumanisation of persons at work will be complete.
These are all topics we have covered in our book: SPoR and Semiotics, Methods to Tackle Risk https://safetyrisk.net/spor-and-semiotics-a-conversation/. If you want practical and positive methods and tools to tackle psychosocial harm then this is the book for you.
Matt Thorne from Risk Diversity and the Centre for Leadership and Learning in Risk (CLLR) is offering a free two hour SPoR Methods workshop for Organisational Leadership Teams.
In this workshop He will show you how to use SPoR Methods to improve your Risk Intelligence (iCue) and improve Organisational Culture.
If you are interested in a 2 hour online workshop please contact: