Updated: Mar 15
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming increasingly important in the modern workplace. From automating routine tasks to analyzing large datasets, AI is being used in a variety of ways to improve efficiency and productivity. However, one of the most important applications of AI in the workplace is its ability to detect bias, sexual harassment, and dangerous behaviors.
Bias in the Workplace
Bias is a major problem in the workplace, and it can take many forms. For example, recruiters may have unconscious biases that lead them to favor candidates who are similar to them in terms of race, gender, or socioeconomic status. Similarly, managers may unconsciously favor certain employees over others, leading to unequal opportunities for advancement or recognition.
AI can be used to detect bias in several ways. One approach is to use machine learning algorithms to analyze recruitment and hiring data, looking for patterns that may indicate bias. For example, an AI system may detect that a particular recruiter tends to select candidates with similar educational backgrounds, or that a particular hiring manager tends to favor candidates who went to the same university as them.
Another way AI can be used is to analyze employee feedback and performance data, looking for patterns that may indicate bias or discrimination. For example, an AI system may detect that female employees are consistently given lower performance ratings than male employees, even when they perform equally well (Bertrand et al., 2020).
Bias can also appear in the amount of "airtime" that employees are given in meetings. Analyzing relative frequency of participation is a sure way to uncover patterns in subtle exclusion, which, if not acted upon, can result in employees feeling not listened to and unfairly treated.
Sexual Harassment and Toxic Behaviors
Sexual harassment and toxic behaviors are also major problems in the workplace, and they can have a significant impact on employee well-being and productivity. Unfortunately, these behaviors can be difficult to detect and address, particularly in large organizations with complex hierarchies.
AI can be used to detect sexual harassment and toxic behaviors in several ways. One approach is to use natural language processing algorithms to analyze employee communications, such as virtual meeting transcripts, emails and chat logs, looking for patterns that may indicate harassment or bullying. For example, Equal Time may detect that a particular employee consistently uses derogatory language or makes inappropriate sexual comments (Chawla & Gupta, 2021).
Another approach is to use AI to analyze employee sentiment data, looking for patterns that may indicate that employees are unhappy or experiencing stress. For example, an AI system may detect that a particular team is consistently reporting high levels of stress or dissatisfaction, suggesting that there may be underlying issues that need to be addressed (Kim & Zhou, 2021).
Recent Developments in AI for Workplace Behavior Analysis
There have been several recent developments in AI for workplace behavior analysis. For example, researchers at the University of Southern California have developed an AI system that can detect workplace bullying by analyzing employee emails. The system uses natural language processing algorithms to identify keywords and phrases that are associated with bullying behavior, such as insults, threats, and personal attacks (Kwon et al., 2018).
Another recent development is the use of AI chatbots to provide support for employees who may be experiencing harassment or discrimination. These chatbots can be programmed to provide information on company policies and procedures, as well as to offer emotional support and guidance (Borgesius et al., 2021).
Newer technologies can also analyze employee sentiment, number of questions asked, and interruption frequency in meetings, which can signify bias. Equal Time, a virtual meeting app can analyze patterns in conversations to uncover hidden bias, harassment, and toxic language which is a red flag.
How to Take Action
AI is becoming an increasingly important tool for detecting bias, sexual harassment, and toxic behaviors in the workplace. By analyzing large datasets and identifying patterns that may be difficult for humans to detect, AI can help to create a safer, more inclusive workplace for all employees.
Get in touch with Equal Time to request a free trial for your organization and begin detecting bias and harassment today. (firstname.lastname@example.org)