Senior Spotlight: Combatting Age Discrimination With AI

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Here in Silicon Valley, it would be entirely irresponsible to forego technology applications in our discussions about aging. Up until this point, much of the data surrounding innovation and older adults has focused on health monitoring, fall prevention, family communications and most recently – roommate matching for solo agers. But as of late, AARP published an article about harnessing the power of technology, specifically artificial intelligence (AI),  to address age discrimination in hiring.

With many studies showing that Baby Boomers are working longer than previous generations (and longer than even they expected themselves), there have unfortunately been a growing number of cases appearing in court pertaining to the use of age bias in recruiting technologies. Examples include denial of applications with older email addresses and a focus on ‘.edu.’ email accounts which signify youth, advertising jobs on Facebook only, and other questionable keyword and data type sorts in virtual screening of resumes.

In the true spirit of fighting fire with fire, artificial intelligence is entering the discussions of how to eliminate age bias in the technological aspects of hiring. Since AI is software ‘designed to think rather than simply react’ (as explained by AARP), the implications are limitless in terms of addressing employee and employer fit. Hiring patterns can be programmed to correlate the backgrounds of employees who are great at their jobs with candidate who share similar qualities. The concept of using matches in abilities, skills and performance is one that far transcends the current recruiting practice of searching by data drops and keywords.

IBM, H&R Block and BuzzFeed Media are already reporting that utilizing artificial intelligence has helped them identify quality candidates faster. This is of particular interest in noting that IBM has previously been under scrutiny for using age bias in layoff processes. Change is a very good thing, especially in cases when efficiency and equality connect the right people with the right careers for the right reasons.

We’ll be excited to see how artificial intelligence reintegrates authenticity into hiring practices, something our longest working Americans (as all individuals) unarguably deserve.

Resource Used:Can Artificial Intelligence Outsmart Age Bias?

Cheers to doing what you love so it feels like you haven’t worked a day in your life,


Bobbi Decker, SRES®, CIPS®
Broker Associate, Today Sotheby’s International Realty
Bobbi Decker & Associates
BRE 00607999
p. 650.346.5352

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