A recent conversation about unconscious biases in our hiring process inspired me to take action. About an hour later, I had a coded prototype for a chrome extension that could obfuscate names and profile pictures from LinkedIn. I wanted to build a tool that shifted focus away from race, gender, and age, in order to highlight skills and accomplishments. I had never built a chrome extension before but it was surprisingly easy! You can download a beta of the Antibias Chrome extension here.
Building a random avatar generator
In the spirit of moving quickly, I massively simplified the random image generation process. It was important for users to have a unique avatar that wouldn't change on page load. I started with a numeric hash of their name and used parts of that hash as coordinates, translating the X and Y position of a larger tiled background-image. To add further variation, I used CSS filters to rotate the hue of the image. You can see a video of it in action below or play with a coded prototype of the random avatar generator yourself.
Contribute to the the project on github.
Download the Chrome extension.