How artificial intelligence learns to be racist

By | April 17, 2017

Open up the photo app on your phone and search “dog,” and all the pictures you have of dogs will come up. This was no easy feat. Your phone knows what a dog “looks” like.

This and other modern-day marvels are the result of machine learning. These are programs that comb through millions of pieces of data and start making correlations and predictions about the world. The appeal of these programs is immense: These machines can use cold, hard data to make decisions that are sometimes more accurate than a human’s.

But know: Machine learning has a dark side. “Many people think machines are not biased,” Princeton computer scientist Aylin Caliskan says. “But machines are trained on human data. And humans are biased.”

Computers learn how to be racist, sexist, and prejudiced in a similar way that a child does, Caliskan explains: from their creators. (Vox)

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