AI From a Layman's Perspective

Are you confused by artificial intelligence? If you're honest, you are a little bit afraid of it.  Articles and posts about AI are usually accompanied by a picture of some creepy looking science fiction robot. You get the feeling that these weird creatures are just waiting for the opportunity to take over the world.

AI in Hollywood

In 1983, the highly entertaining movie, WarGames, was released. The plot is that people at a missile launch control center feared that humans may not have the steely nerve to turn the key required to launch a missile strike in response to a nuclear attack. A super-computer was designed to automate a required launch without human intervention. 

When the system is hacked by a teenager, the computer cannot tell the difference between simulation and reality. It sets up the climactic scene where humans are trying to stop the computer from starting World War III.

The Real AI

When I got interested in business uses of AI, I learned that AI is fascinating but not as dramatic as Hollywood would portray. There are many aspects of AI, such as machine learning, natural language processing, expert systems, computer vision, speech recognition, robotics, and more. Each aspect has its own use and benefit. 

Many of these sophisticated technologies are used in our daily lives, and we don't realize it. Whether you drive your car, use your mobile device, use your credit card, or do just about anything, AI works somewhere in the background. Not trying to control you or take over the world, just automating routine, mundane tasks that humans don't like.   

Uses for AI in Recruiting

Maybe AI is not as intimidating as we thought. But isn't it inhumane to use AI to recruit people? Do we really want these robots to make our hiring decisions? No, we don't. But AI can certainly help us improve the talent acquisition process.  

Studies show that a recruiter will look at a resume for 6 seconds on average. What information can one glean in 6 seconds? Not much. In the world of hourly hiring, many applications don't even get 6 seconds. They are not reviewed at all.  

Somewhere in your stack of applicants is a person who is a really good fit for your business. Will your hiring manager be able to find them? A properly designed machine learning system can review unlimited applications instantly. The computer doesn't mind doing that dull task. And it does the evaluation in an unbiased manner, not using data elements that could cause discrimination.  

You have to do your homework. Identify the traits and characteristics of your top-performing employees and create a candidate model. Then let the algorithms go to work and find the candidates who correlate most highly with your best employees. Your hiring manager can focus precious interview time on only the best matches.  

Wrap Up with Augmented Intelligence

When it comes to recruiting, we believe the proper term is augmented intelligence rather than artificial intelligence. Don't replace your hiring manager in the process, but leverage AI to support the decision-making. Augmented intelligence can be your friend and helper, not something to be feared.  

At Cadient Talent, we offer a recruiting solution for employers with large hourly workforces. Having supported large companies with distributed hourly workforces for over fifteen years, we know that hourly recruiting is hard. We evaluate every aspect of our clients' talent acquisition process to help improve their quality of hire.    

Learn more about how you can improve your recruiting process to increase profits and achieve better business results by making more quality hires. Visit us at

Jim Buchanan