Tag Archives: machine learning

Princeton researchers discover why AI become racist and sexist

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Ever since Microsoft’s chatbot Tay started spouting racist commentary after 24 hours of interacting with humans on Twitter, it has been obvious that our AI creations can fall prey to human prejudice. Now a group of researchers has figured out one reason why that happens. Their findings shed light on more than our future robot overlords, however. They’ve also worked out an algorithm that can actually predict human prejudices based on an intensive analysis of how people use English online.

The implicit bias test

Many AIs are trained to understand human language by learning from a massive corpus known as the Common Crawl. The Common Crawl is the result of a large-scale crawl of the Internet in 2014 that contains 840 billion tokens,

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Our Machines Now Have Knowledge We’ll Never Understand

Illustrations by Todd Proctor / YouWorkForThem

The new availability of huge amounts of data, along with the statistical tools to crunch these numbers, offers a whole new way of understanding the world. Correlation supersedes causation, and science can advance even without coherent models, unified theories, or really any mechanistic explanation at all.

So wrote Wired’s Chris Anderson in 2008. It kicked up a little storm at the time, as Anderson, the magazine’s editor, undoubtedly intended. For example, an article in a journal of molecular biology asked, “…if we stop looking for models and hypotheses, are we still really doing science?” The answer clearly was supposed to be: “No.”

But today — not even a decade since Anderson’s article — the controversy sounds quaint. Advances in … Read the rest

Hunting for Mexico’s mass graves with machine learning

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Over the last decade, Mexican drug cartels have been fighting each other—and corrupt police and military units—for control of the lucrative drug trade, plunging the country into chaos. Outsiders might think of Mexico as sunny and tequila-soaked, but beyond the beach resorts of Cancun and Mazatlan there hides a grimmer tale: levels of murder, rape, and kidnapping are hitting levels rarely seen outside hotspots in Africa, Asia, and South America.

So grim the tale, when 43 college students went missing in Mexico’s southern state of Guerrero in 2014, investigators found 129 other bodies in 60 fosas clandestinas (mass graves) before stumbling on badly burned remains in a mass grave they think might—possibly, maybe—contain what’s left of the missing students. Mexico’s attorney general says the local

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