Another throw back to our seminar was Phil’s session on automation and neuroscience. AI algorithms now help business in numerous ways including reading applicant body language during recruitment to even having a casting vote in deadlocked board meetings.
Indeed AI is making life much easier by taking the mundane and difficult duties away from us. However, it also appears that AI is picking up some bad habits from its organic colleagues. Professor Noel Sharkey of the University of Sheffield’s robotics department (and judge on Robot Wars for those of you watched BBC2 in the 90s and 00s).
Studies suggest that AI has many biases and has shown patterns of discriminating against non-whites. Given there is a huge call for race pay gap reporting, perhaps AI may be contributing to the problem. AI decisions do not only impact the business world. In the US, they also help decide parole and health insurance cover decisions.
There are many reasons why AI may discriminate, one being that it inherits the conscious and subconscious biases of the coders. Prof. Sharkey calls for more vigorous testing akin to medical trials to ensure AI is bias free before being used on life changing decisions. Perhaps something to watch out for in the new year.