AI startup aims to help victims of workplace sexual harassment, discrimination
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly described Spot and contained inaccurate statistics. The story has been updated to correct those inaccuracies. We regret the error.
- A new app, Spot, aims to improve reporting of sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace. At least 70% of such incidents go unreported, with up to 97% going unreported for certain groups of people — including LGBT individuals, and those working in the service industry, according to one of the app's founders.
- Spot uses artificial intelligence and memory science, the company says. Specifically, it employs a technique called Cognitive Interview known to psychologists and police for being able to improve the quality and quantity of details that people can remember.
- Spot users can create and download Spot reports, send them to an employer or someone else, or submit them anonymously, the company says. Reports also are time-stamped and can used as evidence in a legal proceeding, if necessary.
Employers are using AI technology for a growing number of HR functions, from recruiting and talent management to reducing wear-and-tear injuries on the job. And now, one company is betting that AI also may be useful in encouraging employees to come forward and report unlawful behavior.
AI is freeing up HR professionals from many easily automated tasks, but the technology has great potential as a management tool, exemplified by Spot. HR can use AI to encourage reporting, investigate allegations and analyze data. The tool also enables HR managers to gather feedback in an accessible way — increasingly a priority in inclusive working spaces. To gather an accurate view of the workplace, employers need to gather feedback from a wide variety of sources, both internally and externally.
With more data at their fingertips — and more detailed data, at that — HR managers will have the feedback needed to create a zero-tolerance work environment for sexual harassment and sex discrimination.