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3 reasons why AI might discriminate against you

AI systems are built on data. If this data reflects society, will it also replicate society’s inequalities? Discover the three reasons why AI may discriminate against you.

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3 reasons why AI might discriminate against you

  1. 1. 3 reasons why AI might discriminate against you
  2. 2. 1. Data is always bias
  3. 3. In recent years, there have been several cases of AI usage where the algorithm has started to show discriminating behaviour towards certain groups of people.
  4. 4. AI systems are typically built on data. If this data somehow reflects our society, it has the potential to incorporate inequalities that dwell inside it.
  5. 5. Inequalities in our current societies can be hidden in data that algorithms use and the result of this is not always easy to predict.
  6. 6. One of the justifications for automated decision making has often been to eliminate the biases and prejudices of humans – in essence, to make better decisions. The technological world has come to realise that AI might instead actually complicate these issues.
  7. 7. If we build a machine that instead of eliminating our biases, actually replicates and mimics them – and does this even more accurately – then it is highly problematic. We would not want that kind of intelligence. Sonal Makhija, Anthropologist and Lawyer (PhD), University of Helsinki
  8. 8. 2. Removing biases is not that simple
  9. 9. On the surface, it seems that to eliminate biases, you could just delete data properties that might lead to discrimination such as gender, age, home addresses and various cultural background indicators.
  10. 10. However, the problems run deeper. AI systems might still come to conclusions about these factors based on some other data.
  11. 11. For example, the algorithm might detect subtle differences between men and women even if gender as a data property would be removed from the data set used to train the AI system.
  12. 12. Overseeing the ethicalness of AI and preventing discrimination from happening is still currently very difficult. Right now, the responsibility is very much on the designers of the applications – but also on the end-users themselves. The debate about this is still very much open. Henrik Rydenfelt, Docent of Philosophy and Communications (University of Helsinki), Postdoctoral Researcher (University of Oulu), Chairman of the Council of Ethics for Communications in Finland.
  13. 13. 3. We don’t always understand the algorithm
  14. 14. Artificial intelligence solutions are becoming more complex. This means it is also more difficult to understand the basis on which its decisions or analyses are made.
  15. 15. Neural networks, or deep learning systems, are able to make decisions based on extremely vast data sets. These systems can be very precise but are rarely fully transparent. This is known as the black box problem.
  16. 16. What happens in a black box, stays in a black box. And what if discrimination is taking place there? Maybe no one would even know.
  17. 17. I think many organisations yet do not understand the full power of AI, and they do not understand that building machine learning models may land them in a situation where they are actually discriminating by accident. Jani Turunen, AI Lead, Solita
  18. 18. AI ethics need to be discussed today
  19. 19. Discussing the discriminatory nature of some AI applications is part of a wider debate concerning AI ethics. As AI solutions already play an essential role in shaping our lives – and even more so in the future – we need to co-operatively ponder the ethical and moral dilemmas of AI and come to agreement on some common principles of how to ensure that AI is utilised in an ethically sound way.
  20. 20. Many questions still need to be answered, such as: How will AI models impact individual freedom? Who should oversee the ethics of AI? Should AI’s decision- making be fully transparent? How can we be assured that AI models don’t discriminate?
  21. 21. To learn more about how AI ethics affect individuals, businesses and societies, download your free report: Get your free copy at: The Impact of AI
  22. 22. About Solita Solita is a digital transformation company driven by data and human insights. We create culture, services and tech solutions that help us reinvent businesses and society for the better. Our services range from strategic consulting to service design, digital development, data, AI & analytics and managed cloud services. Established in 1996, Solita employs 800 digital business specialists in Finland, Sweden, Estonia and Germany.