Job Board Journalist: Interview With AI Summit Speaker, Geordy Kitchen, Group Product Manager at Google

Peter Weddle

The TAtech Leadership Summit on AI/Machine Learning in Talent Acquisition will be held on February 12-13, 2018 in Scottsdale, Arizona. It begins with an optional complimentary Golf Tournament hosted by our Founding Sponsor,, at the world famous Talking Stick Resort on February 12th and then continues with a jam-packed day of insightful presentations, panels and peer discussions on February 13th.

The conference is open to all technology companies worldwide and to HR and Talent Acquisition professionals in corporate enterprises, staffing firms and RPOs.

One of the unique features of the Summit will be the caliber of the presenters – to a person, they are the real experts in this technology. So, over the next several weeks, I’ll use my Job Board Journalist post to introduce several of them to you. First up is Geordy Kitchen, Group Product Manager at Google – the guy who oversees some of the company’s most important AI work.

Tell us a little about your background and how you got involved with artificial intelligence.

My first introduction to artificial intelligence was during my undergrad in Computer Science but I really got deeply involved once I’d joined Google. I started at Google 7 years ago; the first 2 years I was responsible for the product and program management team for Google’s HR systems including recruiting. I then moved onto consumer products and later into Cloud where I’m responsible for multiple products including Cloud Job Discovery . Over this time and with each successive role, AI has become a more critical part of the products we’re creating for Google’s Cloud and consumer customers.

You’re the Group Product Manager at Google. How does Google use AI technology?

We’ve experienced first hand the benefits of AI in many of our products and are on a mission to make the technology more broadly available. Some examples of that effort include:

● Healthcare and biology: Google developed an algorithm to diagnose diabetic retinopathy, a leading and preventable cause of blindness, with deep machine learning; the algorithm performs on par with ophthalmologists;
● Environment: Conservationists in Australia are using TensorFlow to track and help save sea mammals. To help reduce overfishing, Google used machine learning on satellite imagery to identify fishing activity around the world and display it in a free online tool;
● Accessibility, creativity, and more: YouTube has used machine learning to automatically caption over 1 billion videos in 10 languages, making them more accessible to the 300 million+ people who are deaf or hard of hearing worldwide;
● Tensorflow: Google made TensorFlow open-source and free, because we fundamentally believe in creating computing platforms that developers can customize and build on. It quickly became the most popular ML package on GitHub;
● Hardware: We built TPUs—our own chip customized for machine learning at high performance and power efficiency—enabling us to incorporate machine learning across all of our products at scale. We are making these TPUs available to our cloud customers soon.

Your presentation is entitled “Addressing Talent Matching Problems With AI.” Without giving away the story, what are some of the points you’ll cover in your session?

Helping people get meaningful employment is a hugely worthwhile endeavor. Numerous organizations are working hard to help improve the ability for job seekers and employers to make a match; however, we’re still far from where we need to be. AI provides an opportunity to bring even more intelligence to recruiting at a scale that was previously unachievable. For example, typically when you build models or ontologies you choose a limited number and spend years iterating. Now our deep learning and computational resources allow us to train numerous models simultaneously enabling us to select the strongest model or set of models for use in ranking and recommendations.

HR professionals and recruiters are notoriously slow to adopt new technology and use it effectively. Do you think they’ll be able to handle AI-based talent acquisition products any better?

HR professionals and recruiters have adopted new technology where it’s been a benefit to their work and has been sufficiently easy to use. But HR is all about people, which makes it a really challenging and interesting space and heuristics will only get us so far. AI (and ML) provide an opportunity to complement HR professionals’ and recruiters’ abilities to be effective at scale and to help recruiters in ways that previously haven’t been possible. Today, we’ve only scratched the surface of what AI/ML can achieve for HR professionals and recruiters and I believe the adoption rate is only going to increase.

Finally, Stephen Hawking has famously said, “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.” Is he right – do we need to be worried about this technology?

I believe that AI, like other technology advancements before it, will be beneficial. It’s already making significant improvements to people’s live, for example in the ways in which Google has enabled AI in healthcare, the environment, accessibility, and in many of Google’s and other’s consumer and enterprise products we use everyday. AI, however, is a technology and a tool whose benefits will be defined by the person or organization that creates it. It’s up to us — as leaders in the AI space — to promote and to ensure the responsible development and application of AI.

Food for thought,

TAprose and Job Board Journalist by Peter Weddle are brought to you by TAtech: The Association for Talent Acquisition Solutions.

Mark Your Calendars! TAtech’s 2018 events include:

• February 12-13, 2018 Scottsdale, Arizona USA: The TAtech Leadership Summit on AI/Machine Learning in Talent Acquisition – the only conference totally focused on the capabilities and impact of AI/ML/NLP in recruitment.

• March 13-14, 2018 Dublin, Ireland: TAtechEurope 2018 – the premier event for recruitment advertising and technology thought & business leaders in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

• April 18-19, 2018 Las Vegas, Nevada USA: The TAtech Spring Congress & Meetup – a unique conference designed to maximize opportunities for B2B networking, trending topic discussions and the exploration of partnerships and business opportunities.

• June 5-6, 2018 Minneapolis, Minnesota USA: The TAtech Leadership Summit on Programmatic Ad Buying – the only conference totally focused on the technology and applications of programmatic ad buying by both publishers and advertisers.

• September 26-27, 2018 Bourbon Street New Orleans, Louisiana USA: The TAtech Fall Congress & World Job Board Forum – the only conference that brings together the global thought and business leaders of the TA technology industry.


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