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Ariel Procaccia

AI Researchers Are Pushing Bias Out of Algorithms

Practical ideas for ensuring that artificial intelligence is ethical and fair are gushing from inside the tech profession.

Not so scary. 

Not so scary. 

Photographer: Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

Artificial intelligence is getting a bad rap. People of color and women are said to be disadvantaged by the technology underlying bail recommendations, facial recognition, self-driving cars and online advertising. Some critics argue that AI can also worsen health disparities based on income and race. These examples raise the specter of a world governed by racist, sexist and plutocratic algorithms.

What gets less attention, though, is the reaction of AI specialists to these issues. And that’s too bad. The perception that AI researchers and developers care more about algorithms and robots than about people is misguided.