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Machines are getting schooled on fairness | Science News

Machines are getting schooled on fairness | Science News

You’ve probably encountered at least one machine-learning algorithm today. These clever computer codes sort search engine results, weed spam e-mails from inboxes and optimize navigation routes in real time. People entrust these programs with increasingly complex — and sometimes life-changing — decisions, such as diagnosing diseases and predicting criminal activity.

Machine-learning algorithms can make these sophisticated calls because they don’t simply follow a series of programmed instructions the way traditional algorithms do. Instead, these souped-up programs study past examples of how to complete a task, discern patterns from the examples and use that information to make decisions on a case-by-case basis.

Unfortunately, letting machines with this artificial intelligence, or AI, figure things out for themselves doesn’t just make them good critical “thinkers,” it also gives them a chance to pick up biases.

Investigations in recent years have uncovered several ways algorithms exhibit discrimination.

Source: Machines are getting schooled on fairness | Science News