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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

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.

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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OPPO Joins Hands with IIT Hyderabad to Boost AI, 5G Integration

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between IIT Hyderabad and OPPO to facilitate exchange of ideas and carry out research

Vivo, OPPO
As an industry leader in innovation, OPPO has invested heavily in the development and research of 5G smartphones. Wikimedia commons

Chinese smartphone maker OPPO on Monday said it has entered into a partnership with Indian Institute of Technology-Hyderabad (IIT Hyderabad) to promote collaborative research on advanced and emerging technologies.

The collaboration is aimed at promoting joint research and development for multiple projects over a period of two years for the development of new technologies in areas specific to camera and image processing, battery, networks (5G), system performance and Artificial Intelligence (AI), among other areas.

The partnership is in line with OPPO’s effort to build localised solutions for the Indian market.

“We are happy to collaborate with OPPO India through the expertise of our researchers, to further support and strengthen their R&D efforts in bringing technological breakthroughs for the Indian market,” Sumohana S. Channappayya, Dean – Research and Development, IIT Hyderabad, said in a statement.

FILE – People stand next to a 5G logo during the Mobile World Congress wireless show, in Barcelona, Spain, Feb. 28, 2018. VOA

“This collaboration with OPPO will help in the development of indigenous solutions to cater to the dynamic needs of the Indian consumers,” Channappayya added.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between IIT Hyderabad and OPPO to facilitate exchange of ideas and carry out research.

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“Our collaboration with IIT Hyderabad is in line with our vision to enhance R&D and innovation capabilities at OPPO India as we continue our endeavour to build localized solutions for the Indian market,” said Tasleem Arif, Vice President and Head R&D, OPPO India.

“This collaboration aims to pave the way to carry out quality research and promote the rapid integration of cutting-edge technology, particularly in the areas of 5G and AI,” Arif said. (IANS)