The US Army Research Laboratory gave a $1,500,000 three-year grant to two associate professors to develop what's being called a "fully automated luxury microaggression detector" Alexa-like device to "catch implicit bias" in workplaces across America.From NorthEastern.edu, "Could a smart device catch implicit bias in the workplace?":
Despite the growing adoption of implicit bias training, some in the field of human resources have raised doubts about its effectiveness in improving diversity and inclusion within organizations.But what if a smart device, similar to the Amazon Alexa, could tell when your boss inadvertently left a female colleague out of an important decision, or made her feel that her perspective wasn't valued?This device doesn't yet exist, but Northeastern associate professors Christoph Riedl and Brooke Foucault Welles are preparing to embark on a three-year project that could yield such a gadget.
The researchers will be studying from a social science perspective how teams communicate with each other as well as with smart devices while solving problems together."The vision that we have [for this project] is that you would have a device, maybe something like Amazon Alexa, that sits on the table and observes the human team members while they are working on a problem, and supports them in various ways," says Riedl, an associate professor who studies crowdsourcing, open innovation, and network science. "One of the ways in which we think we can support that team is by ensuring equal inclusion of all team members."
"One step closer to a fully automated luxury microaggression detector," psychology professor Geoffrey Miller commented. "Coming soon to your schools, workplaces, and public spaces."
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