We can see that one part of this argument most certainly could be true. But we just cannot get our minds around the idea that the other part possibly can be:
Robotic artificial intelligence platforms that are increasingly replacing human decision makers are inherently racist and sexist, experts have warned.
The argument is that such AIs are trained on the data that already flows through society. If that data is itself skewed in some manner, sexism, racism, whatever, then the logical rules the AI picks up from the data will reflect that underlying bias in the data.
We don't know but we're entirely willing to believe that it could be so. However, we can't see this part of it at all:
Professor Noel Sharkey, Co-Director of the Foundation for Responsible Robotics, said more women need to be encouraged into the IT industry to redress the automatic bias.
He said the deep learning algorithms which drive AI software are “not transparent”, making it difficult to to redress the problem.
Currently approximately 9 per cent of the engineering workforce in the UK is female, with women making up only 20 per cent of those taking A Level physics.
“We have a problem,” Professor Sharkey told Today.
“We need many more women coming into this field to solve it.”
It's only if men and women are the same that there's any reason to expect equal interest in any part of our world. But here we've an appeal to difference as a reason for there to be an equal outcome.
Yet that's not the only illogicality. The claim is that the basic data supplied by society is biased, this creates the bias in the AIs. How does the gender or sex of the engineers change that? Further, now alerted to it shouldn't any competent engineer be able to zero in on the solution, assuming there is one, regardless of sex or gender?
We're entirely aware that there's a societal mantra at present, a ritual obeisance, insisting that there must be more female engineers because. We're also absolutely delighted with the idea that if there is some bias holding back people from being able to maximise their utility that such is on the way to eradication. But we really do hope that engineering, even of the societal kind, continues to be based upon science rather than religion, however modern that theology is.
We do think it's rather the point of engineering after all.