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Robots Decide Whom to Hire Based on Voice

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It’s the newest thing on the employment front: running your voice through a computer to see which job is the best match, whether it is to flip burgers or deal with a surly customer on the phone.

The online employment service Jobaline.com doesn’t really use the face-to-face interviews, but rather feeds research and algorithms into a computer, which then judges candidates based on how their voice sounds. There are, apparently, different choices for different voices.

In this June 6, 2014 file photo, humanoid robot Pepper is on display at SoftBank mobile shop in Tokyo. Japanese mobile carrier Softbank said Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015 it will incorporate artificial intelligence technology from IBM into its empathetic robot Pepper that goes on sale in Japan this month. - Sputnik International
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"We’re not analyzing how the speaker feels," Jobaline CEO Luis Salazar tells National Public Radio. "That’s irrelevant."

Salazar says your voice has a certain subtle signature that sounds different – even if it‘s ever so slightly – when you’re happy, sad, mad, or in a hurry, and the algorithms interpret all those subtleties as it makes a match.

Salazar argues that the Jobaline “secret formula” can even pinpoint if a voice is calm, trustworthy, and engaging, which can be very important for certain kinds of jobs, such as in the hospitality business.

More and more companies are using this kind of system to help them sift through applications. Humans make the final judgement, but that algorithm helps the companies narrow down the pool, cutting down on time and costs.

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