Artificial intelligence (AI) and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are pillars of the modern workplace. It’s hard to ignore their collective impact on organizational goals and culture. AI unlocks new levels of productivity, while DEI boosts team performance by keeping employees satisfied.

Naturally, combining AI and DEI practices can lead to significant benefits for your company. As the relationship between both aspects continues to evolve, we look at how leaders can leverage the intersection of AI tech and DEI initiatives for the best results. 

And since AI and DEI are always works-in-progress, we’ll look at some pitfalls to avoid.

ai and dei

A Brief History of AI

The earliest mentions of AI go back to the 1940s, a time that saw scientific interest in cybernetics technology, which unified mathematical theory, electronics, and automation. But, it was not until the 1960s that American computer scientists John McCarthy and Marvin Minsky formally founded the AI discipline in its modern form.  

AI refers to any computer program that fulfills tasks that require high-level mental processes such as perceptual learning, critical reasoning, and organized memory. In the early days, AI software could handle tedious and repetitive processes so team members could focus on managing value-added tasks like customer service and innovating business strategies.  

As computing advancements continued to shape AI over the years, the discipline gradually transformed into the superpower that it is today. These days, AI solutions like chatbots, speech recognition software, virtual assistants, and natural learning processing (NLP) have become commonplace in some of the top companies. 

It was only a matter of time before organizational experts eventually discovered AI’s potential in promoting diverse and inclusive cultures. With AI, it became increasingly easier to replace unconscious human biases with automated solutions that prevented inequality.  

Collecting and Assessing Diversity Data

Certain metrics play a key role in driving the success of your workplace DEI initiatives. An advanced AI solution helps your team compile and organize various employee information so you can make the most inclusive HR decisions without guesswork.  

AI-supported DEI dashboards can collect and store detailed employee information for monitoring retention, salary, promotions, and turnover rates. Specifically, the data allows you to track and correct bias among demographics (e.g., based on gender, age, or race). 

Advanced AI solutions like Shaip help companies achieve data diversity via a systematic approach that includes:

  1. Gathering information from underrepresented groups (e.g., people with disabilities or from non-dominant religious groups). 
  2. Accruing data from multiple sources, like internal HR directories, job board sites, and social media groups. 
  3. Removing all job-irrelevant info from applications before hiring.
  4. Following the latest government and industry guidelines for compliance.  

Correcting Unconscious Bias With Data

Accurate diversity data enables you to monitor and manage unconscious bias in your company. NPR research shows that unconscious bias exists as a natural biological process for sorting through complex information so we can make snap judgments and decisions during emergencies. 

Yet, relying on these innate responses could result in prejudice and discriminatory behavior since we naturally accept those similar to us while avoiding those who appear or act differently. AI’s systematic algorithm establishes a level of fairness that reduces unconscious bias. The algorithm usually achieves this with specialized training models and datasets.  

AI algorithms might also come with the risk of inherent bias. Your company should carefully vet AI datasets for exclusionary content within the algorithm. 

For example, Amazon discovered that its recruitment software contained biases against females due to training data input based on its predominantly male workforce. Similarly, research has shown racial bias in AI-supported social media vacancy postings, where jobs with taxi companies targeted an audience that was approximately 75% Black.

Managing Workplace Performances

AI’s collection of diversity data empowers your company to provide equal opportunities for employees regardless of their background. For instance, the algorithm of an AI-powered HR solution can flag specific practices or decisions that undermine an individual’s career experience or progression. 

Essentially, AI enables companies to dig deeper into the dynamics of work culture to understand how it works. AI can accurately highlight the hidden forces behind promotions, appraisals, and leadership decisions. AI helps HR teams to identify performances and behavioral differences among individuals to uncover potential biases that abound. 

Improving Morale (Remotely)

Remote work arrangements can worsen the feeling of isolation and disengagement among team members, especially individuals from underrepresented groups. Sophisticated AI technology can help you monitor communications and interactions across remote channels to identify and respond to the earliest signs of isolation and dissatisfaction among users.

You can conveniently refer to integrated communication data via a depository like a data lake or warehouse, for informed decision-making. These databases can leverage bespoke cloud analytics that ultimately drives predictive models for reviewing information and improving preparedness for expected outcomes.     

Recognizing and Rewarding Team Members

Modern AI technology makes it possible to show recognition and reward diverse individuals for their diligence. Consistency and transparency in employee reward programs can provide a boost to workplace satisfaction while meeting DEI goals. 

For instance, the Bonusly platform empowers peer-to-peer rewards and recognition through direct reports and automated birthday greetings and celebrations. Users can also tap on the platform’s analytics feature to discover the professional strengths of each team member and give them the freedom to choose their preferred rewards. 

Evergreen is another highly recommended AI-supported solution that enables you to recognize an employee’s contributions and reward them with trees planted in their honor. The unique platform can help you promote your company’s DEI efforts and environmental responsibility. Plus, Evergreen integrates seamlessly with Slack and Microsoft Teams so you can frictionlessly share accomplishments in group chats.

Driving Assistive Technology

Assistive technology (also known as adaptive technology) functions optimally with AI, providing differently abled individuals with the necessary tools to fulfill their workplace duties. 

Popular AI-driven assistive technology includes automated live captions and subtitling tools for the hearing impaired, and cognitive enhancement that offer real-time assistance with problem-solving and decision-making. 

Assistive technology solutions may also pair with specialized input devices for enhanced technical support. These supplementary devices may include touchscreen displays, text readers, and screen magnifiers to optimize the assistive technology experience. 

Hiring and Recruitment  

Your hiring and recruitment approach can heavily influence an employee’s overall work satisfaction and career experience. 96% of recruiters consider unconscious bias a problem, which could result in wrong placements and the lack of quality candidates.   

The good news is that AI hiring solutions can help attract your most qualified candidates through a fair and appealing employment process. 

Biased wording could deter some of the most qualified prospects in underrepresented groups from applying for a role, compromising your talent acquisition process. 

Ongig’s AI-powered Text Analyzer software provides a comprehensive report of the biases found in your JDs and suggests inclusive replacements. Through AI-powered solutions like Text Analyzer, you can consistently post effective JDs, keeping biases at bay while broadening your talent pool.  

AI and DEI Into The Future

The rise of remote and hybrid work arrangements has led to a greater focus on the relationship between AI and DEI. Employers and recruiters must keep their talent pool thoroughly engaged with accessible and versatile AI tools designed with diversity at the front of mind.  

But with that said, AI innovation isn’t a replacement for challenging human bias. Instead, it should play a supporting role. Biases may persist despite the most advanced AI solutions and team members and leaders must sustain healthy work environments through regular, respectful, and open communication.    

As AI and DEI practices continue to develop side by side, your organization can expect an ever-expanding toolkit for promoting an inclusive culture. In time, the general workforce can look forward to equal opportunities for every team member to progress, grow, and thrive in their careers regardless of their backgrounds. 

Why I Wrote This

Ongig builds and develops advanced AI for optimizing recruitment and hiring practices. We achieve this through Text Analyzer’s specialized algorithm that identifies and replaces biased or boring text in job descriptions. Our team believes that raising awareness about the vital relationship between tech and people helps leaders to make winning decisions with precision and confidence.  


  1. The Council of Europe – History of Artificial Intelligence
  2. Rachel Kolb, The Atlantic – Life Is About to Come With Subtitles
  3. Shaip – Diverse AI Training Data for Inclusivity and Eliminating Bias
  4. NPR – Understanding Unconcious Bias
  5. Kathy Baxter, InfoWorld – What is AI bias mitigation, and how can it improve AI fairness?
  6. Miranda Bogen, Harvard Business Review – All the Ways Hiring Algorithms Can Introduce Bias
  7. Claudio Buttice, Techopedia – How Technology Is Helping Companies Achieve Their DEI Goals in 2022
  8. Cengiz Acarturk and Baris Mucen, Springer Link – Performance in the Workplace: a Critical Evaluation of Cognitive Enhancement
  9. Jeffrey Dasdin, Reuters – Amazon scraps secret AI recruiting tool that showed bias against women
  10. Agency Central – 96% of recruiters think unconscious bias is a problem, but can it be avoided?
  11. Troy R Weekes and Thomas C. Eskridge, SpringerLink –  Responsible Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence for the Cognitive Enhancement of Knowledge Workers
  12. Wendy Gonzalez, Forbes – Three Ways AI Is Improving Assistive Technology 

by in Diversity and Inclusion