“One of the best ways to combat bias is to be aware of it. When you are aware of the biases then you can be proactive about getting in front of them. Well, computers don’t have that advantage. They can’t be aware of the biases that may have come into them from the data patterns they have seen.”
Concern is growing:
- The ACLU has raised concerns that age, sex, and race biases are already being codified into the algorithms that power AI.
- ProPublica found that a computer program used in various regions to decide whom to grant parole would go easy on white offenders while being unduly harsh to black ones.
- It’s an issue that Weapons of Math Destruction author Cathy O’Neil raised in a popular talk at the TED conference this year. “Algorithms don’t make things fair,” she said. “They automate the status quo.”