Creating Awareness of Biases in Autonomous Systems


As developments in autonomous systems advance, it’s important to look at how unconscious bias might be penetrating these systems. Considering that technology leadership is skewed 80% men and 83% white, the key is to be aware of this bias and make efforts to change it. In a recent contribution to Age of Robots, How Old Biases are Infiltrating New Autonomous Technologies, Nita Patel with IEEE Women In Engineering (IEEE WIE) discusses the choices we face today in recognizing biases and taking action to prevent its proliferation in AI technologies.

Autonomous and intelligent systems (A/IS) are rapidly developing and we are becoming increasingly reliant on this technology without understanding the cultural impact. For example, A/IS and its algorithms are already being used in financial and legal decision-making. To move forward the global community of AI developers need to look at the problem, monitor it and seek opportunities to expand representation in technology tools.

Nita recently provided insight on this topic at the annual SXSW Conference, 9-18 March 2018 in Austin, TX. The session, Algorithms, Unconscious Bias & AI, was included in the IEEE Tech for Humanity Series at SXSW. Nita is also founder of the IEEE WIE International Leadership Conference in San Jose, California, 21–22 May 2018.

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