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AI lie detectors in interviews: could it happen in the EU?

Explore the prevalence of CV lies and the rise of AI technology in job interviews. Understand the potential implications of the EU AI Act on hiring processes.
AI lie detectors in interviews: could it happen in the EU?

You wouldn’t believe how many people enjoy cross-country skiing. But only if you regularly review CVs and conduct job interviews, where embellished interests are plentiful.

Lying during the job application process is pretty common. A recent survey over 1,900 workers revealed that seven in 10 respondents confessed they had lied on their CVs, and 37% admitted they lied frequently.

While adding wishful or lapsed hobbies isn’t so serious – or crucially, provable – other embellishments are.

Upping responsibilities in general is pretty common (52% of CV lies), as is inflating job titles (52%), fabricating how many people you managed (45%), extending the length of time employed at a job (37%), and increasing metrics or accomplishments (17%.)

Even more seriously, 31% of survey respondents had lied about the name of the company that employed them, 24% made up the entire position, and 11% lied about education credentials and volunteer work.

The figures increase again when it comes to job interviews. Some eight in 10 of those surveyed confessed they had lied during a job interview, and 44% admitted to frequently bending the truth.

US lawsuit

Taking these stats into account, the vast majority of job seekers will not favour this latest trend in hiring practices in the US, where some hiring departments are using AI technology to analyse and assess video applicants.

One such tool is Affectiva, which uses AI to analyse facial expressions, eye contact, and voice intonation, and is the focus of a class action lawsuit.

Brendan Baker filed a state court lawsuit against CVS Health Corp. and CVS Pharmacy Inc., arguing that the drugstore chain violated a Massachusetts law banning the use of lie detector tests in hiring and employment, by using the tool in online job interviews without providing a disclaimer.

Though a representative for HireVue has said its assessments are not, and never have been, designed to assesses the truthfulness of a candidate's response, things like pausing, eye movements and body language can all give away a liar, and “emotional AI” tools are trained to visually analyse their subjects.

EU View

As the case rumbles on, lawmakers and legislators are discussing the application of old laws on newer technology, and naturally, this applies differently in every country.

However, at EU-level, a ban on AI lie detectors at borders is one of thousands of amendments being considered to the AI act, which is geared at protecting citizens’ fundamental rights as the technology rapidly develops.

Much criticism is centred around the €4.5m EU funding of the Horizon 2020 project iBorderCtrl, which includes developing a video lie detector based on AI to be used on visitors to the EU to determine if they're lying when answering questions.

Under the AI Act, high-risk AI systems like these will be limited and banned, which includes emotion recognition in education institutions and the workplace.

So if organisations are using AI technology to analyse video applicants, their days might be numbered.

Though the EU AI Act received final approval from the European Parliament on March 13th, limits on AI technology with “unacceptable levels of risk” do not kick in for another six months, while the actual legislation will not be enacted until sometime 2025 at the earliest.

It will then be a further two years before all rules of the act and obligations for high-risk systems apply.

In the meantime, it’s understandable if job seekers are cautious about hiring processes, but being armed with up-to-date information on the EU AI Act is key.

With this, candidates will be able to make informed decisions around participating in AI-enabled processes, and can protect both their privacy, and their embellishments.

Ready to find a new job? The Tech EU Job Board is the perfect place to focus your search. It features thousands of tech openings across Europe, including the three below.

Software Engineer, Scholt Energy, Valkenswaard

Scholt Energy is seeking a Software Engineer to realise new solutions and information services, while optimising existing ones. Working closely with the IT team and business analysts, you'll translate wishes into software, taking into account technical and functional requirements, guaranteeing quality and ensuring up-to-date documentation. The ideal candidate will have at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science or related subject, and have knowledge of C# and SQL. Knowledge of Azure functions, Power Platform and Dynamics CE 365 are an advantage. Apply here.

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Join the R&D team at a rapidly-growing Italian company leading the design and construction of energy saving systems as a Software Engineer.The main responsibilities for this role include: analysis, design and development of new software dedicated to proprietary products, software updating and maintenance, remote technical assistant, and software testing. Ideally, you’ll have a diploma or higher education in IT, electronics or a similar field, proficiency in C++ and Python, while knowledge of Javascript is preferred. Good interpersonal skills and teamwork skills are also a priority See more here.

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Want to work on varied projects at a large organisation where you have the resources to do your job well and to learn more? If yes, check out this Software Developer role with a fast-growing company which simplifies processes in the real estate market. In this role, you'll be responsible for optimising high-traffic platforms and expanding their CRM package, realising new functionalities and ensuring the scalability of its platforms with the use of CI/CD pipelines. Over three years experience with PHP is required, while Docker and Kubernetes is an advantage, as is knowledge of migrating systems. Read more here.

For thousands more tech jobs across Europe, visit the Tech EU Job Board

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