Sexual harassment has been at the frontline major media sources recently. While it鈥檚 difficult to hear everything that鈥檚 been going on behind-the-scenes, it has, in turn, generated awareness for these issues occurring in Hollywood, sports, and the office. The last of these three places motivated psychological scientist Dr. Julia Shaw, along with her co-founders Dylan Marriott and Daniel Nicolae, to put the power of prevention and detection directly into people鈥檚 hands.

Their site, Spot, is the first tool that will use AI capabilities to report workplace discrimination. With it, you can anonymously create and download reports and send them to an employer, an HR representative, a colleague, or even Spot鈥檚 research team. The key to all of this is ease of use and anonymity.

spot app

The inspiration for the site came from a study conducted by Dr. Shaw鈥檚 team where they found an overwhelming amount of workplace issues that go undetected. 鈥淲e found that no matter which study you look at, most instances are never reported at all. At least 70 percent go unreported, with up to 97 percent going unreported for certain groups of people 鈥 including LGBT individuals, and those working in the service industry,鈥 she says.

By using a proven effective technique called 鈥渃ognitive interviewing鈥 they developed a comfortable messaging-style interface that improves a victim鈥檚 or bystander鈥檚 memory to record each detail of the event as it happens. Users are then given a copy of the time-stamped chat to notify others as they please, giving them complete, unbiased control over the scenario. 鈥淏ots don鈥檛 judge. Spot will always keep things private, and will only share what you want it to,鈥 adds Dr. Shaw.


The comforting news to all of this is that the app doesn鈥檛 store or profit from these cases, but it simply hopes to raise awareness of offensive office behavior and decrease the stigma around speaking up. As Dr. Shaw put it, 鈥渒nowing that something inappropriate is happening is still better than not knowing at all. Silence can destroy company culture from the inside.鈥

The tool is free to the public and can be used regardless of if the consumer鈥檚 company is registered with it. The Spot website also has resources about discrimination and harassment for both employers and employees.

Will you try this app? Share your thoughts with us @BritandCo.

(Photos via Spot)