Three in four workplace harassment incidents go unreported. That’s why Phil Libin, the co-founder of Evernote, is backing a startup that aims to make it easier for people to report inappropriate behavior.
But since this is Silicon Valley, the startup is creating an app powered by artificial intelligence. The chat bot will prompt people about workplace incidents and record their responses, almost like a diary.
Called Spot, the app launched on Tuesday. It asks users to recount their experiences of harassment and discrimination in the workplace. Co-founders Dr. Julia Shaw, Dylan Marriott and Dr. Daniel Nicolae think their tool can encourage people to report their experiences more quickly and accurately than they would talking to someone in the HR department.
“If you’re reporting harassment and talking to a human being, there might be bias involved, they may ask leading questions, and you might not trust they’re not going to be sharing that information with something else,” said Dr. Shaw, who holds a PhD in psychology from the University of British Columbia and is a research associate at University College London.