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James KirkJames Kirk
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Turning To Dog Faces To Minimize Bias In Hiring

As many managers know, hiring good people is hard. We know that it is even harder, however, to avoid our own biases when hiring – whether they are conscious or unconscious. From a candidate’s perspective, no one likes to think of a manager or recruiter excluding them because they associate your name with someone who they don’t like, a university they did not get admitted to or, worse, because they just don’t like your profile photograph.

Aaron Weyenberg, a New York City-based director of research and development at not-for-profit TED, needed a way to review candidates without the effects of unconscious bias.

So he turned everyone into dogs,

Weyenberg cheekily launched Profile of Dogs, a Chrome browser extension that automatically turns users’ self-selected LinkedIn profile pictures into a random dog image. (The extension can be installed via Chrome’s web store.)

LinkedIn is a key part of the recruiting process in many countries and although many companies still ask for a CV and cover letter, candidates are often pre-screened on LinkedIn before they are contacted.

“All kinds of information that has nothing to do with a person's qualifications can be involuntarily placed in our line of sight,” says Weyenberg. “The rise of LinkedIn certainly hasn't done anything to slow that. They don't offer any kind of browsing mode that suppresses irrelevant information and puts forward more substantive information.

However, other experts believe even a picture of a dog has inherent associations, and different breeds can trigger different kinds of thoughts and perceptions about the candidates.

The problem is that people make associations with all kinds of things, says Alexander Todorov, assistant chair of psychology at Princeton University.

“Dobermans have one kind of reputation that is different than a golden retriever,” he says. “If I see someone with a picture of, say, a pit bull, there are specific inferences that come to my mind for this person – even if they could be completely false.”

Hiring organizations have tried different methods to suppress irrelevant information about candidates to minimize bias. One is to obscure faces.

Experts agree it is as difficult to eliminate bias as it is to hire the right candidate. But the dog-face method is still fun and partly effective.

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StoriaBusiness

Facebook Faces Tough Questioning Again

As disinformation becomes a major issue on social media, Facebook faced tough questions from legislators from nine countries as part of an international hearing on disinformation in London.

But a committee of members of the UK parliament stopped short of releasing documents Facebook has been trying to keep confidential,

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StoriaBusiness

US Steps Up Pressure On China Over Trade Espionage

The Trump administration is doubling down on efforts to target China over economic espionage, announcing a new initiative to curb trade theft and charges involving alleged crimes against an Idaho semiconductor company.

The Department of Justice disclosed an indictment Thursday alleging that a government-backed Chinese firm, a Taiwanese company, and three Taiwanese individuals engaged in conspiracy to steal trade secrets from Micron, which makes memory chips,

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StoriaBusiness

Are You A Type A? Think Again

For decades, we have heard of the personality types A and B. You may have described someone as a “Type A” personality – an ambitious, competitive, and impatient person striving for success. Perhaps you would describe yourself as such.

But new research suggests the categorization of Type A and Type B personalities might be misleading.

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StoriaBusiness

Apple CEO Proud Of Decision To Come Out

Apple CEO Tim Cook became the first CEO of a major company four years ago to come out as gay. He says he's happy about his decision and about his being gay.

16I17s greatest gift to me

Cook came out on October 30, 2014. His sexual orientation had been widely speculated upon but he hadn’t confirmed it openly.

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StoriaBusiness

Greece Completes Difficult 3-Year Bailout Program

Greece has successfully completed a three-year eurozone emergency loan program worth €61.9 billion (£55 billion; $70.8 billion) to tackle its debt crisis.

It was part of the biggest bailout in global financial history, totalling some €289 billion, which will take the country decades to repay.

Deeply unpopular cuts to public spending, a condition of the bailout, are set to continue, report

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Global Economy Set Back

This week has been sobering from the point of view of global economy, with a rift at the G7 Summit and the Trump administration's slapping of tariff on Chinese imports.

The Trump administration confirmed Friday that it would move forward with tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese exports. Beijing called that a declaration of a trade war, and promised immediate retaliation.

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StoriaBusiness

EU Tariffs On US Products From Friday

European Union tariffs on products from the United States will go into effect on Friday.

The European Commission announced Wednesday that it had approved initial retaliatory tariffs on US exports worth €2.8 billion ($3.2 billion), report the

The tariffs will hit American products including motorcycles, orange juice, bourbon, peanut butter, motor boats, cigarettes and denim. They are a response to the Trump administration's tariffs on steel and aluminum exports from Europe.

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StoriaBusiness

Trade War: US Allies Plan To Retaliate

America's biggest allies and trade partners are promising to fight back against US tariffs that threaten to spark a global trade war.

The European Union, Canada and Mexico said Thursday that they will respond to new US tariffs on steel and aluminum with punitive measures targeting American products worth billions of dollars, report the

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