A technology company has approached a state university about an app that is in the testing phase of development. If the university allows the company to use the campus as a test site, the university would have access to the app for a significantly reduced cost. The company’s app, called CollegeAdmit, is designed for screening undergraduate college applications. The way CollegeAdmit works is that an applicant uploads a video to its platform containing the applicant’s responses to a set of interview questions that the university provides in advance. Depending on the university and the questions it provides, students might have the opportunity to answer questions in creative ways such as singing in response to an application question. CollegeAdmit then uses sophisticated AI algorithms, including to detect the tone of an individual’s voice and classify facial expressions, to analyze an applicant’s submission and score it based on criteria specified by the company, possibly in collaboration with the university’s admissions office.
Even though CollegeAdmit is still in the process of development, the company asserts that the university should have the utmost confidence in the app’s usefulness and effectiveness because the company has already released a similar product for hiring employees. Plus, according to the company, since the specifications for CollegeAdmit are still being finalized, the university may have an opportunity to more fully customize the app.
The company’s proposal has come to the attention of senior level administrators at the university, including the campus president. The university is considering adopting CollegeAdmit because it could potentially reduce the lengthy and costly admissions process. Not only is the current manual review process time consuming, but it also requires significant resources from the admissions office. The admissions office frequently has to hire several temporary employees to assist with the review of applications.
Before deciding on whether to use the app, state and university policies stipulate that the convening of a committee must occur in any situation involving the selection of a vendor whose product could substantially impact campus culture or practice. The committee must be diverse in terms of representing different interests across the campus. In this particular case, a collection of stakeholders, serving on the committee, must meet to review the company’s proposal and provide a recommendation to the campus president regarding the admissions app.
- Alvero, AJ, Noah Arthurs, anthony lising antonio, Benjamin W. Domingue, Ben Gebre-Medhin, Sonia Giebel, and Mitchell L. Stevens. 2020. AI and Holistic Review: Informing Human Reading in College Admissions. Proceedings of the 2020 AAAI/ACM Conference on AI, Ethics, and Society.
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