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Breaking Down Barriers: The AI Interview Bot Debate and Disability Discrimination

Blauner AI gettty

by Becky Hwang

In today’s fast-paced world of technology and innovation, AI interview bots have completely transformed the job application process. They promise speed, efficiency, and objectivity. According to a recent survey conducted by Resume Builder, 10% of companies are already using AI interviews for screening prospective candidates. What’s even more noteworthy is that this number is expected to surge, with over 43% of companies planning to implement AI interview bots in their hiring processes by 2024.

But beneath the surface, there’s a critical issue that often goes unnoticed – the unintentional exclusion of people with disabilities from the hiring process. In this blog post, I will delve into the concerns surrounding AI interview bots, provide real-world examples of their discriminatory practices, explore ongoing efforts to address this issue, and discuss proactive measures to promote inclusivity and equality.

AI Interview Bots: The Double-Edged Sword

Imagine landing a job interview – you’ve polished your resume, dressed to impress for a video interview, and now it’s time to face the AI interview bot. But for individuals with disabilities, this seemingly straightforward process can pose hidden challenges. These bots may inadvertently discriminate against candidates for several reasons:

  • Lack of Disability Data: A significant issue concerning AI interview bots occurs, with many of these AI systems lacking essential data about candidates with disabilities, directly impacting their ability to evaluate candidates with disabilities.
  • Unintentional Bias: The prevalence of unintentional bias perpetuated by AI interview bots is exemplified by investigations, often reflecting deeply ingrained societal prejudices. Consequently, these biases can lead to unintentional discrimination against candidates with disabilities, underscoring the urgent need for bias mitigation measures. Nonverbal Cues: Here’s a real-world example that highlights the challenges faced by individuals with certain disabilities. Many AI interview bots analyze nonverbal cues, presenting significant challenges for mobility-impaired candidates. This often results in misinterpretations, underscoring the real obstacles individuals with disabilities encounter in AI-driven interviews.
  • Inadequate Accessibility: Comprehensive reviews have raised concerns about the lack of accessibility in AI interview bot design, making them less usable for candidates with visual or hearing impairments.

These examples serve as a stark reminder of the critical issues surrounding using AI interview bots in the hiring process, emphasizing the need for proactive measures to address discrimination and promote inclusivity.

Real-World Examples

Let’s put a face to the issue. One such AI interview bot is HireVue, a popular video interview platform, which has faced criticism for its potential to disadvantage candidates with disabilities, particularly those with dyslexia, who may face challenges during the interview process. Another example is Pymetrics, an AI-driven assessment tool that has received backlash for potentially discriminating against neurodiverse individuals, including those with autism.

The Quest to Eliminate Discrimination

The good news is that organizations and companies are stepping up to address this discrimination issue head-on. Here are some promising initiatives in the fight against discrimination:

Diversity and Inclusion Training:

IBM: IBM has been actively working to reduce bias in AI. They have implemented diversity and inclusion training programs and have been researching methods to reduce bias in their AI systems.

Continuous Evaluation:

Unilever: Unilever, a consumer goods company, has been using AI in its recruitment process. They continuously evaluate and fine-tune their AI tools to ensure they do not disadvantage candidates with disabilities or any other underrepresented group.


Google: Google has been transparent about its use of AI in the hiring process and has worked to address potential biases. They have published studies on AI fairness and have encouraged transparency in the use of AI in HR.

Championing Inclusivity

It’s not enough to fight discrimination; we must proactively champion inclusivity. Here are some steps to help level the playing field:

  • Diverse Data Collection: AI developers must prioritize gathering diverse data that includes information about candidates with disabilities. This data helps the algorithms make more informed and fair decisions.
  • Accessibility Features: Make sure AI interview bot platforms are designed with accessibility features in mind.
  • Continuous Testing: Regularly test AI interview bots with candidates with disabilities to identify and address any potential issues.
  • Third-Party Audits: An independent third-party audit can assess the fairness and inclusivity of AI interview bots in the hiring process, providing valuable insights and recommendations for improvement.
  • Candidate Awareness: Educate candidates about the use of AI interview bots in the hiring process. Give them a channel to report any discrimination or accessibility issues they encounter.
  • Education and Training: Companies should invest in disability awareness training for their HR teams and hiring managers to ensure fair treatment and understanding of candidates with disabilities.

AI interview bots have the potential to streamline the hiring process, but we cannot let discrimination be their byproduct. In the world of employment, we, as humans, are not merely interviewing to work with machines but to work with and for people. While efforts are underway to address this issue, a collective commitment to inclusivity and diversity is paramount. By promoting transparency, enhancing accessibility features, and continuously testing and refining these AI tools, we can work toward a future where AI interview bots create a level playing field for all job seekers, regardless of their abilities.

Discrimination has no place in the world of AI-powered hiring. Let’s break down barriers and build a more inclusive workforce for everyone, recognizing the importance of energy and emotional connections within our teams that AI can’t replicate.