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The undercurrents of the future. A publication from Medium about technology and people.

Algorithms

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‘Bias audits’ for discriminatory tools are a promising idea, but current approaches leave much to be desired

Image: LightFieldStudios/Getty Images

This op-ed was written by Mona Sloane, a sociologist and senior research scientist at the NYU Center for Responsible A.I. and a fellow at the NYU Institute for Public Knowledge. Her work focuses on design and inequality in the context of algorithms and artificial intelligence.

We have a new A.I…

A failure at Stanford teaches us the limits of medical algorithms

Close-up of Moderna vaccine. Photo: William Campbell/Getty Images

This story was co-authored by Dr. Rumman Chowdhury, CEO of Parity, an enterprise algorithmic audit platform company.

“The algorithm did it” has become a popular defense for powerful entities who turn to math to make complex moral choices. It’s an excuse that recalls a time when the public was content…

GENERAL INTELLIGENCE

The algorithms also picked up on racial biases linking Black people to weapons

Photo illustration; Image source: 3DSculptor/Getty Images

OneZero’s General Intelligence is a roundup of the most important artificial intelligence and facial recognition news of the week.

Bias in artificial intelligence is notoriously problematic. Facial recognition algorithms have been found to more frequently misidentify people with darker skin; identified poor people as high-risk and less eligible for public…

OpenAI disclosed the problem on GitHub — but released GPT-3 anyway

OpenAI company text logo

Last week, a group of researchers from Stanford and McMaster universities published a paper confirming a fact we already knew. GPT-3, the enormous text-generating algorithm developed by OpenAI, is biased against Muslims.

This bias is most evident when GPT-3 is given a phrase containing the word “Muslim” and asked to…

Reflections on the transformative potential of refusal as a method in the design of technology

Photo: Peter Cade/Getty Images

Last year at the Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS), one of the most well-respected computer science conferences in the world, the opening panel discussion on A.I. for social good didn’t go quite as people might have expected.

“I’m not usually in spaces like this, and I’m not entirely…

Understanding how algorithms manipulate our behavior and what to do about it

Photo: Yiu Yu Hoi/Getty Images

On my recent birthday, only four of my 711 Facebook “friends” wrote on my wall. It was tempting to assume that people scrolling their news feeds saw it was my birthday and thought “Nah, not interested.”

My rational brain, however, knew it wasn’t my friends who lacked basic decency, but…

Some A.I. experts warn against a lack of transparency in the buzzy new program

OpenAI’s company logo
Image: OpenAI

For years, A.I. research lab OpenAI has been chasing the dream of an algorithm that can write like a human.

Its latest iteration on that concept, a language-generation algorithm called GPT-3, has now been used to generate such convincing fake writing that one blog written by the it fooled posters…

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