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Posted By: Bill Some problems with AI - 07/17/16 02:53 AM
Kate Collins in the "The New York Times" has an article on AI and the White Guy Problem. Artificial Intelligence’s White Guy Problem

It discusses the problems with unintended biases in the developers of various AI systems in use around the country right now. The problem seems to be that the developers of the systems don't take into account the full data needed to develop the systems to not be biased. For example: "A very serious example was revealed in an investigation published last month by ProPublica. It found that widely used software that assessed the risk of recidivism in criminals was twice as likely to mistakenly flag black defendants as being at a higher risk of committing future crimes. It was also twice as likely to incorrectly flag white defendants as low risk."

There are a number of problems similar to that discussed in the article. This sort of thing can cause a lot of trouble on down the line.

Bill Gill
Posted By: Bill S. Re: Some problems with AI - 09/05/16 09:18 PM
I've just found time to read that article. It's fascinating, and more than a little troubling. I guess it says something about prison populations, especially in the Southern States; or is my impression of the black/white ratios there incorrect?
Posted By: Bill Re: Some problems with AI - 09/05/16 10:46 PM
I haven't really seen any numbers on black/white prison populations based on area. However, I believe there is a general disparity between the number of black and white prisoners. There can be a number of problems that produce this disparity. One is that blacks are more likely to be living in poverty. That tends to increase crime rates. Then because of this people, even without using the possibly biased AI software, tend to think of black areas as being crime ridden. So there is more policing, and thus more black criminals are caught.

The police of course, based on their experience with seeing more black offenders, tend to think of blacks as more likely to be offenders, even when they have no particular reason to think a particular person is an offender. So they start treating all blacks as potential offenders. This is a very difficult bias to overcome since it isn't thought out, just felt. A person has to be always on the alert to keep from falling for this type of bias. I know when I was a boy that blacks were really just kind of inconsequential. So my first reaction to a black is that he has less value than I do. I am aware of this so I try to ignore the feeling, but it is really difficult. I have done it over and over, and it still pops up. I hope that I am adequately compensating for the feeling, but I don't bet that it doesn't show through.

Bill Gill
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