IBM Seeks Patent For Biosensor-Based Hiring

from the taylorism-is-back... dept

theodp writes "A just-published IBM patent application for Optimizing Utilization of a Donor describes how to monitor 'the somatic (i.e. physical) and affective (i.e. emotional) states of human resources' to determine 'an optimal allocation of the human resources to tasks.' IBM further explains that 'the emotional and physical states may be sensed via non-invasive biosensors.' And what exactly will be measured and sensed? Physical condition can be determined by measuring 'the level of blood sugar, the blood heat, or the like.' And clues to 'a human resource's mood to perform a job with lust, joy or any other emotional condition' can be found by looking at 'changes in autonomic functions, such as, for example, heart rate, blood pressure, respiration, sweating, trembling, and other features like hormonal changes; changes in body temperature; and changes in neural function that are measurable.' So if you want that job with Big Blue, perhaps you better make sure that your Blood Pressure, Pulse, Mood, and Level of Fatigue are as up-to-snuff as your skills. Yikes."

This sounds like the modern equivalent of Taylorism, which never faired all that well in the first place. Effectively, this sounds like simply applying modern technologies to a typical Taylor-like review of a worker.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Johnson Rice, Sep 4th, 2008 @ 9:34pm

    Wrong Interpretation?

    It seems like Mike's interpretation of this is a bit backwards.

    This system does not sound like it is for hirees, nor that the scanner will be used for testing potential employees for somatic and affective conditions...

    Rather, it seems that IBM wants to scan the hiring manager and HR staff's physical and mental states.

    They want to ensure that the hiring managers aren't hiring hot women when they haven't gotten any, or turning down an otherwise good candidate because they are grumpy.

    Nevertheless, this is still scary as hell, but IBM is talking about scanning current HR staff, not incoming potentials.

    Could be a first step toward Gattaca.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Jake, Sep 4th, 2008 @ 10:15pm

    Re: Wrong Interpretation?

    I somehow doubt it would be hard to adjust it for other purposes, and IBM have probably left their patent open-ended enough to tie things up in court for years if someone comes up with a competing system to be used on the interviewee instead.
    In which case, I'm for putting off patent reform until there's been time to take steps to discourage these things from being misused. Innovation sans frontiers can be a double-edged sword.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Enrico Suarve, Sep 5th, 2008 @ 5:13am

    ouch

    Can I patent not working for IBM? scary people

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Vincent Clement, Sep 5th, 2008 @ 5:33am

    Re: Wrong Interpretation?

    The term "human resource" refers to an employee not just a Human Resource staff member.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    A Conman Sword You, Sep 5th, 2008 @ 5:49am

    They're Just Hunting For Replicants

    Tyrell: Is this to be an empathy test? Capillary dilation of the so-called blush response? Fluctuation of the pupil. Involuntary dilation of the iris...
    Deckard: We call it Voight-Kampff for short.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2008 @ 11:52am

    Re: Wrong Interpretation?

    So, if a woman is pregnant, she's screwed (present tense, not past tense).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Sep 5th, 2008 @ 2:17pm

    Re: Wrong Interpretation?

    Rather, it seems that IBM wants to scan the hiring manager and HR staff's physical and mental states.

    Hmm. No, I don't think that's right. The patent uses "human resources" to apply to *employees* not HR employees.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous please, Sep 5th, 2008 @ 4:59pm

    The truth about Ron Riley

    Mike, It will be worth exposing the truth of your bloggers.

    http://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=74089

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2008 @ 5:48pm

    I will just bring my own such device the next job interview.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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