White and male - that's AI

White and male - that's AI

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The artificial intelligence field is characterised by flawed systems that preserve gender and racial biases, according to a report published by New York University’s AI Now Institute. Researchers say the problem lies in AI being dominated by white males who risk perpetuating historical biases.

The report points out that AI solutions are being created by large tech companies and a handful of universities, and that the systems being developed can harm underrepresented groups.

Just 15% of AI research employees at Facebook and 10% at Google are female, while the proportion of black employees at tech giants ranges from 2.5% to 4%. Only 20% of AI professors are women.

“The AI industry needs to acknowledge the gravity of its diversity problem, and admit that existing methods have failed to contend with the uneven distribution of power, and the means by which AI can reinforce such inequality,” the report says.

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