Brian Sankarsingh writes about the possible connections between AI and systemic racism
Yep. Garbage in, garbage out. And not to fixate on the hairstyle thing (I get it, it's just an example), but my ancestors wore very similar hairstyles as they battled the English invaders; but today would be accused of "culturally appropriating Black hairstyles". No wonder we're all getting DEI fatigue.
Great article, appreciate the links with examples. “AI algorithms learn from the data they are fed” There’s the issue of what goes in, and what doesn’t go in. Incomplete or excluded data (whether inadvertent or deliberate) also leads to distortion and biased output.
I like the style of this Digital Equity Series — calm delivery of a clear stance, with a thorough breakdown of the “why” behind it. It makes it easy to process the content objectively, and tamps down the urge for a defensive reaction because the starting point isn’t to attack or insult, so the message doesn’t seem arrogant or accusatory. Regardless of the reader’s opinion or initial stance, it’s easy to acknowledge and agree with all the specific points that make sense.
Thank you Brian. However, I would suggest it is not just stereotypes or systemic racism that AI algorithms perpetuate through the data they collect. Specific algorithms can also predict what we prioritize when making purchases, our tolerance level for price increases before changing brands, or what it would take to make us support a different political party. By blending data from people belonging to similar demographics, algorithms can be developed to predict the choices of these larger groups, or appeal to their values or innate biases. In the hands of the less scrupulous or those protecting their interests, our data can be shared legally - as when they notify us that they have the right to share it at their discretion. Health insurers alone know how often and which members of our families see psychotherapists, oncologists, or plastic surgeons. Think of the date our debit cards alone provide to our banks. Algorithms perpetuating biases and stereotypes grew right alongside the growth of the internet. Now with the introduction of AI, all of this is growing exponentially. While I wholeheartedly support your efforts to put steps in place to address these issues, I fear it may be too late to rein it in. The cat is out of the bag.