Interview with Yoshua Bengio, Pioneer of AI

Biased Data and AI for Humanity

 TT              You said that the intelligence is from knowledge and knowledge is acquired from data?

 YB             That’s right.

 TT              But if data is biased, what happens? Some social scientists criticize most data for being based on male, Caucasian middle aged…

 YB             That’s right.

 TT              So if a young woman of colour applies, for instance, for an insurance policy, AI might say no because they don’t have enough data for those applicants.

 YB             Yes, absolutely. I think there are technical solutions and social solutions to this problem. We have to change our social norms, for example, so that companies building products use technological solutions and logistical solutions, for example, in the way that the data is collected, in the way that it’s described and managed, and in the particular learning algorithms that are used because we know techniques that can mitigate the bias and discrimination. So we can probably include those techniques, but more importantly we need to make sure that companies and governments use them.

 TT              Is that why you think it’s important that both social scientists and natural scientists work for AI together?

 YB             Yes.

 TT              I love the idea of “AI for humanity” as you have in the Mila here.

 YB             Right, because the AI researcher might not realise some of the social issues that could be involved in the deployment. I think it’s particularly important for people who are doing research or development of products that is close to something that people will use, in large-scale deployment for example.

About Toshie Takahashi

Toshie Takahashi is Professor in the School of Culture, Media and Society, as well as the Institute for Al and Robotics,Waseda University, Tokyo. She was the former faculty Associate at the Harvard Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society. She has held visiting appointments at the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge as well as Columbia University. She conducts cross-cultural and trans-disciplinary research on the social impact of robots as well as the potential of AI for Social Good. 【早稲田大学文学学術院教授。元ハーバード大学バークマンクライン研究所ファカルティ・アソシエイト。現在、人工知能の社会的インパクトやロボットの利活用などについて、ハーバード大学やケンブリッジ大学と国際共同研究を行っている。東京オリンピック・パラリンピック競技大会組織委員会テクノロジー諮問委員会委員。】
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