IDF revolutionizes recruitment, announces new AI-driven scoring system

The system will leverage big data and machine learning algorithms to determine the best possible placement for a recruit.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

The IDF announced Wednesday that it will now use an AI-driven scoring system for new recruits, ending decades-old practices around determining where to place incoming soldiers that have long been criticized as inaccurate and even discriminatory.

In the current system, youth who are set to enlist in the coming months — typically students in their last year of high school — report to a local recruitment office before their enlistment date.

IDF staff interview the potential recruits, who are judged on three key aspects: how many years of education they possess, a personal interview, and a basic intelligence test. The results of those three elements are called a “Quality Group” score, called “Kaba” in Hebrew.

The training and roles that recruits receive are almost always exclusively based on their Kaba scores. Recruits with low scores are relegated to logistical, manual labor or administrative positions.

Critics have argued that this testing method is not expansive enough and does not accurately assess a recruit’s skills, abilities, and strengths. Some have said that it widens existing social gaps.

For example, a recruit born into poverty who did not finish twelve years of schooling because they dropped out to work and support their family will automatically be given a low Kaba score, even if they possess excellent leadership skills and are highly motivated.

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A new immigrant to Israel without a strong grasp of the Hebrew language is also automatically given a low Kaba score, despite their foreign language skills which could prove useful in an intelligence unit.

According to the IDF statement, the system will be completely revamped with a scoring system that considers more factors than the current three parameters.

The system will leverage big data and machine learning algorithms to determine the best possible placement for a recruit, along with their potential to succeed in a given role.

Over the next few years, the IDF will roll out “advanced, fair and egalitarian scoring that will target the individual” and the “realization of personal potential” of each new recruit.

The new system will take into account recruits’ adaptability, resilience, leadership and management skills, and motivation.

Adding transparency to the process, recruits will be able to access and view their scores online, as well as appeal the results of the assessment.