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Added 1 June, 2018

AI developers keep making biased AI

Microsoft is the latest tech company to try and tackle algorithmic bias — that is, artificial intelligence that was fed subpar data and came to mirror society’s own prejudices or unfair perspectives. The company wants to create a tool that will detect and alert people to AI algorithms that may be treating them based on their race or gender, according to MIT Technology Review. The idea of an AI audit has gained traction elsewhere, and some AI companies have begun hiring auditors to take a look at their code. But this also requires that the AI be simple enough such that someone can walk in and spot problem areas, or the auditor be well-versed in the code. For more complicated deep learning algorithms, this may not always be possible. Another possible answer is better training for the people who actually create the AI so they might be able to better detect their own opinions and prejudices, and keep them from being interpreted by the algorithm as fact. That doesn’t mean coders are setting out to program racist machines. But, because everyone has some sorts of implicit biases, the world of technology would benefit from helping people better understand their own world views.

German Smith
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