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Making AI Unbiased Has Become Essential For Human Freedom

What about the AI assistants that we have on our devices? If Google Assistant, Siri, or for that matter Alexa, talks to us in a female voice, it could make our kids believe that women - not men -- are supposed to be assistants.

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"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, Program Management, Cloud and Enterprise, Microsoft, told IANS. Pixabay

From recommending what you need to buy on a shopping site to who you should be friends with on a social network, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has established itself as a guiding force in our lives.

The growing importance of this technology, however, has also made people aware of the biases that have become part of it, increasing the pressure on technology companies to make amends.

Google, for example has now established an external advisory council to help the tech giant develop AI technology in an ethical and responsible way.

E-commerce giant Amazon this month announced that it was working with the National Science Foundation (NSF) to commit up to $10 million each in research grants over the next three years focused on fairness in AI.

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The growing importance of this technology, however, has also made people aware of the biases that have become part of it, increasing the pressure on technology companies to make amends. Pixabay

“We believe we must work closely with academic researchers to develop innovative solutions that address issues of fairness, transparency, and accountability and to ensure that biases in data don’t get embedded in the systems we create,” Prem Natarajan, Vice President of Natural Understanding in the Alexa AI group at Amazon, wrote in a blog post.

Biased automation tools could push disadvantaged communities further to the margins. Imagine, for example, an AI recruitment tool that considers women to be less intelligent. If a job portal employs such a tool, it is more likely to recommend males to an organisation planning to hire new people.

What about the AI assistants that we have on our devices? If Google Assistant, Siri, or for that matter Alexa, talks to us in a female voice, it could make our kids believe that women – not men — are supposed to be assistants.

 

According to a report in the investigative journalism website ProPublica, one risk assessment tool commonly used in US court rooms was found recommending lighter punishment for white people than black people.

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Google, for example has now established an external advisory council to help the tech giant develop AI technology in an ethical and responsible way. Pixabay

Making AI unbiased has therefore become essential for human freedom and for ensuring equal opportunities for all and fighting discrimination. But why do AI tools show bias and reflect the prejudices which are already existing in our society?

This is partly because the community that builds AI does not adequately reflect the diversity in the world. According to a 2018 World Economic Forum Report, only 22 per cent of AI professionals globally are female.

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“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, Program 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,” she pointed out. (IANS)

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Here’s Why Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai Believes That Artificial Intelligence Needs To Be Regulated

Advanced AI which is beyond chat bots will soon be used to manipulate social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

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The Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai stressed that "international alignment will be critical to making global standards work" on AI. Wikimedia Commons

Joining Microsoft President Brad Smith and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Monday called for new regulations for Artificial Intelligence (AI), saying the only question now is how to approach it.

Although new regulation is needed, “a cautious approach is required that might not see significant controls placed on AI,” Pichai who was last month took over as the CEO of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, in an editorial piece in The Financial Times.

“There is no question in my mind that artificial intelligence needs to be regulated. It is too important not to. The only question is how to approach it”.

“Companies such as ours cannot just build promising new technology and let market forces decide how it will be used. It is equally incumbent on us to make sure that technology is harnessed for good and available to everyone,” Pichai wrote.

According to CNET, the timing of the editorial coincides with a big push from Google to reveal some of the results of its own work in AI and bring tools it has developed out into the world.

The Alphabet CEO stressed that “international alignment will be critical to making global standards work” on AI.

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Joining Microsoft President Brad Smith and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Monday called for new regulations for Artificial Intelligence (AI), saying the only question now is how to approach it. Wikimedia Commons

We need to take a “principled approach to applying AI, said the company, while offering Google’s “expertise, experience and tools.”

“We need to be clear-eyed about what could go wrong,” he said.

His comments come as lawmakers and governments globally are considering to limit the use of AI in fields such as face recognition system – an issue close to Microsoft President Brad Smith’s heart who has often criticized the technology, urging governments to enact legislation regarding the technology.

“Unless we act, we risk waking up five years from now to find that facial recognition services have spread in ways that exacerbate societal issues,” said Smith.

Advanced AI which is beyond chat bots will soon be used to manipulate social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, Tesla CEO Elon Musk warned recently.

In his famous debate with former Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma, Musk entered into a lassic argument over the capabilities of emerging technologies like AI.

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Although new regulation is needed, “a cautious approach is required that might not see significant controls placed on AI,” Sundar Pichai who was last month took over as the CEO of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, in an editorial piece in The Financial Times. Pixabay

Musk said that computers will one day surpass humans in “every single way”. He has predicted that a single company that develops “God-like super intelligence” might achieve world domination.

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If not regulated or controlled soon, AI could become an “immortal dictator” and there will be no escape for humans, the SpaceX CEO had warned. (IANS)