Automation is taking our jobs and preventing us from getting new ones. It’s taken over jobs in fields from writing to human resources, making it a crucial component in hiring.
AI (artificial intelligence) tools review resumes and scour the internet for information about potential candidates. Though companies have used bots to search for keywords in resumes for years, they rely increasingly on AI to filter out candidates who don’t fit the company’s culture.
One job seeker took to the internet after automation decided their birthday made them ineligible for promotion.
Born on the Wrong Day
The poster shared a rejection letter they received during their job search for roles in information technology.
The letter states that the company can’t proceed with their application because their birthday “seems inconsistent with the professional standards we uphold in our organization.”
How could a birthday be inconsistent with professional standards?
The poster’s birthday is April 20th, often abbreviated to 4/20. The date earned an association with an illicit substance after a band’s publicity stunt in the 90s, and apparently, being born on that day proves you support the pop culture idea of “4/20.”
Birthday Discovered on Linked In
An even more fascinating part of the tale is that the poster didn’t include their birthday in their resume. Whoever deemed them ineligible found their birthday on the career networking site linked in.
The letter even admits it, saying the decision was made “in regards to your birthday on Linked In…”
Has To Be AI
If this letter is real, it implies that AI reviews resumes and surfs the internet looking for information on candidates. AI then sends rejection notices based on what it finds.
None of this is reviewed by humans. It can’t be. We can’t imagine any real person would assume a candidate doesn’t fit the company culture due to their birthday.
Of course, the letter doesn’t mention AI at all. There’s no indication AI wrote it or discovered the offending “evidence.” We’d never think a machine wrote it if the rejection were based on something more reasonable, like a skill gap.
But getting rejected for having the wrong birthday is so far-fetched that it’s impossible a real person approved it.
The Future We’re Not Ready For
The story highlights a terrifying reality: we’re barreling toward a future where AI will do most of the work. AI will be responsible for recruiting, hiring, and firing. It will write the resumes, do the research, and make selections.
And it’s not just HR. As AI technology improves, more and more jobs are at risk. What will the future hold when computers do most of the work? Will we have a life of leisure or a dystopian nightmare?
We have an option, but we’re heading in the wrong direction.