The Daily Dose: Artificial Intelligence has a racism problem that needs fixing

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Artificial Intelligence researchers have published a letter protesting racism in algorithms used by scientific publishing companies. In particular, they take issue with a paper, titled “A Deep Neural Network Model to Predict Criminality Using Image Processing.” It presents a face recognition system capable of predicting whether someone is a criminal. “Citing the work of leading Black AI scholars, the letter debunks the scientific basis of the paper and asserts that crime-prediction technologies are racist.” Springer Nature later retracted the paper from being presented at an AI conference.

An article in The Next Web also takes Artificial Intelligence to task for having racist leanings. It uses a recent incident where AI was responsible for the false identification and arrest of an African American man, Robert Williams. According to the author, “The problem isn’t that this particular AI is racist. The one that cops used in lieu of conducting an actual investigation wasn’t anomalous, it’s the norm. All AI is racist. Most people just don’t notice it unless it’s blatant and obvious.” In this instance, the wrongly accused was eventually released because he was innocent. However, the fear is that the Williams case represents an outlier.

Last year, astronomers observed what they believed was the collision of a black hole and a neutron star. Researchers have thrown that into doubt. As per Science News, “New analysis of the gravitational waves emanating from the merger tells a different story. It shows that a black hole about 23 times as massive as the sun crashed into a compact object of about 2.6 solar masses.” Bet a sonic screwdriver could decipher this mystery.

As the United States continues to reopen (for better or for worse), dentists are working to get up to speed as safe as possible. According to the Associated Press, “U.S. dental offices are quickly bouncing back, but it won’t be business as usual. Expect social distancing, layers of protective gear and a new approach to some procedures to guard against coronavirus. Dental offices largely closed, except for emergency care, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended in March that they should delay elective procedures like teeth cleaning and filling cavities.” People suffering from tooth pain during the lockdown can breath a sigh of relief.

Thanks for reading. Let’s be careful out there.

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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