Meet Vera, the robot that’s been recruiting humans

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***COMPOSITE***

Move over Sophia, there’s a new robot in town. A Russian startup by the name of Strafory is using Robot Vera, an artificial intelligence software, to help hundreds of clients with recruitment, which includes bigwigs like L’Oréal, Ikea, and PepsiCo.

Strafory is a 50 person-strong start-up in St.Petersburg founded by Vladimir Sveshnikov and Alexander Uraksin. The two founders, with a background in human resources, felt like robots after making thousands of calls to candidates who lost interest in a given job or could not be located.

Vera is named after Sveshnikov’s mother and works on a combination of speech recognition technologies from Google, Amazon.com, Microsoft, and Russia’s Yandex. Programmers feed 13 billion examples of syntax and speech from TV, Wikipedia, and job listings to expand the software’s vocabulary and help it speak more naturally, and understand responses.

How it works is that Vera selects suitable resumes from five job sites, and the artificial intelligence can make a selection of five job sites according to your requirements in a few minutes. Vera will call the candidates and tell them about the job. Using modern technologies, Vera can call the candidates and recognize their speech. Vera will then interview the best candidates and send a description of the job to all candidates, followed by a video interview.

On its website, the company claims that Vera has taken over 2000 interviews for various positions and over 1 million have been found by the artificial intelligence at the request of employers at 5 job sites. According to Bloomberg, the robot initially started working in Russia in December 2016, and Stafory has since roped in clients in the Middle East and conducted pilot projects in Europe and the U.S. The company says its revenue will top $1 million this year.

However, human recruiters still have a say the candidates cleared by Vera. Sveshnikov and Uraksin are working to teach Vera to recognize human emotions such as anger, pleasure, and disappointment. Despite her superhuman abilities, Mikhail Chernomordikov, a Microsoft Corp. strategist in Dubai says Vera shouldn’t be viewed as a substitute for traditional HR departments,.“Final decisions on hiring are reserved for humans”, he says.