Wednesday, 19 June 2024
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What can blockchains do to ensure fairness?

What can blockchains do to ensure fairness?

Projects rooted in artificial intelligence (AI) are fast becoming an integral part of the modern technological paradigm, aiding in decision-making processes across various sectors, from finance to healthcare. However, despite the significant progress, AI systems are not without their flaws. One of the most critical issues faced by AI today is that of data biases, which refers to the presence of systemic errors in a given set of information leading to skewed results when training machine learning models. 

As AI systems rely heavily on data; the quality of the input data is of utmost importance since any type of skewed information can lead to prejudice within the system. This can further perpetuate discrimination and inequality in society. Therefore, ensuring the integrity and objectivity of data is essential.

For example, a recent article explores how AI-generated images, specifically those created from data sets dominated by American-influenced sources, can misrepresent and homogenize the cultural context of facial expressions. It cites several examples of soldiers or warriors from various historical periods, all with the same American-style smile.

An AI generated image of Native Americans. Source: Medium

Moreover, the pervading bias not only fails to capture the diversity and nuances of human expression but also risks erasing vital cultural histories and meanings, thereby potentially affecting global mental health, well-being and the richness of human experiences. To mitigate such partiality, it is essential to incorporate diverse and representative data sets into AI training processes.

Several factors contribute to biased data in AI systems. Firstly, the collection process itself may be flawed, with samples not being representative of the target population. This can lead to the underrepresentation or overrepresentation of certain groups. Second, historical biases can seep into training data, which can perpetuate existing societal prejudices. For instance, AI systems trained on biased historical data may continue to reinforce gender or racial stereotypes. 

Lastly, human biases can inadvertently be introduced during the data labeling process, as labelers may harbor unconscious prejudices. The choice of features or variables used in AI models can result in biased outcomes, as some features may be more correlated with certain groups, causing unfair treatment. To mitigate these issues, researchers and practitioners need to be aware of potential sources of…

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