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Building AI Without Women Will Lead to Biased Results: Microsoft

Members of the team working on the system said it effectively taught itself that male candidates were preferable

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FILE - Microsoft Corp. signage is seen outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Washington, July 3, 2014. VOA

As Artificial Intelligence (AI) becomes the buzz of the town, building AI-based solutions without the inclusion of women would give way to a technology that is inherently biased, a top Microsoft executive said on Friday.

According to the “World Economic Report 2018”, only 22 per cent of AI professionals globally are female while almost a third (32 per cent) believe that gender bias is still a major hurdle in the recruitment process in the industry.

“If AI systems are built only by one representative group such as all male, all Asian or all Caucasian, then they are more likely to create biased results,” Mythreyee Ganapathy, Director, Programme Management, Cloud and Enterprise, Microsoft, told IANS.

Data sets that will be used to train AI models need to be assembled by a diverse group of data engineers.

“A simple example is data sets that are used to train speech AI models which focus primarily on adult speech samples unintentionally exclude children and hence the models are unable to recognise children’s voices,” Ganapathy added.

India is at the 108th spot in the gender gap index, according to the “World Economic Forum 2018” report. It also has one of the lowest participation rates of women in the labour market at 27 per cent.

There has been a spurt in the adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) across industries in India and cloud infrastructure and rapid deployment of intelligent Cloud services will further drive AI adoption in the country, Microsoft India said on Wednesday.
Pixabay

A different set of people should be included to increase the diversity of AI teams as more than half (52 per cent) women globally, perceive the tech sector to be a “male” industry, the report adds.

To balance the gender gap in the country, the tech giant promotes the study of computer science at traditionally female colleges and other universities.

“We believe that attracting, developing and helping women in STEM fields is vital to ensuring a well-rounded, inclusive society without which we risk having hundreds of thousands of jobs left unfilled and decades of innovation absent of female perspectives,” the Microsoft executive noted.

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Corporate and academic AI teams have inadvertently made systems biased against women.

For example, tech giant Amazon’s ML experts scrapped a “sexist” AI recruiting tool in October 2018 after they discovered the recruiting engine “did not like women”.

Members of the team working on the system said it effectively taught itself that male candidates were preferable. (IANS)

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Sweetened Beverages May Increase Risk of Early Death: Study

Sugar-sweetened beverages intake is also on the rise in developing countries, spurred by urbanisation and beverage marketing

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The "soft drinks" were defined as caffeinated colas, caffeine-free colas and other carbonated beverages (such as diet ginger ale). Pixabay

Women who drink sugar sweetened beverages are at an increased risk of death from cardiovascular diseases, researchers have warned.

The study, led by Harvard University researchers, found that drinking 1-4 sugary drinks per month was linked with a one per cent increased risk of death and 2-6 drinks per week with a six per cent increase.

The increased early death risk linked with sugar-sweetened beverages consumption was more pronounced among women than among men, the findings, published in the journal Circulation, showed.

“Our results provide further support to limit intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and to replace them with other beverages, preferably water, to improve overall health and longevity,” said lead author Vasanti Malik.

However, drinking one artificially-sweetened beverage per day instead of carbonated and non-carbonated soft drinks, fruit drinks, energy drinks, and sports drinks lowered the risk of premature death.

One should go for healthier alternatives of cold drinks. Wikimedia Commons
One should go for healthier alternatives of cold drinks. Wikimedia Commons

For the study, the team analysed data from 80,647 women and 37,716 men.

The study supports policies to limit marketing of sugary beverages to children and adolescents and for implementing soda taxes.

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Sugar-sweetened beverages should be no more than 10 per cent of daily calories from added sugars.

Sugar-sweetened beverages intake is also on the rise in developing countries, spurred by urbanisation and beverage marketing, said the team. (IANS)

One response to “Sweetened Beverages May Increase Risk of Early Death: Study”

  1. Soft drinks, like all the beverages made by our industry, are safe to consume as part of a balanced diet. The sugar used in our beverages is the same as sugar used in other food products. We don’t think anyone should overconsume sugar, that’s why we’re working to reduce the sugar people consume from beverages across the country. Additionally, low- and no-calorie sweeteners have been repeatedly confirmed as safe by regulatory bodies around the world.