Discrimination in the AI Industry Contributes to Discriminatory AI Systems


A new report from New York University’s AI Now Institute titled Discriminating Systems: Gender, Race and Power in AI highlights the diversity crisis in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) sector and its effect on the development of AI systems with gender and racial biases. 

The lack of diversity in the AI sector and academia spans across gender and race. Recent studies show that women comprise only 15 percent of AI research staff at Facebook and 10 percent at Google. Women make up 18 percent of authors at leading AI conferences, while more than 80 percent of AI professors are men. Representation of other minorities is also sparse. Only 2.5 percent of Google’s workforce is black, while this is true of 4 percent for both Facebook and Microsoft. 

According to researchers, AI’s lack of diversity extends past the underrepresentation of women and other minority groups to power structures and the creation and use of various AI systems. Most of all, the report suggests that historical discrimination in the AI sector needs to be addressed in tandem with biases found in AI systems. 
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Building an Authentic Client Base On and Offline

Women using a smartphone in the display and technology advances in stores. Take your screen to put on advertising.

When the Pew Research Center began measuring social media usage in 2005, 5 percent of U.S. adults used at least one social media platform. Today, 69 percent of the public utilizes some form of social media.
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Facebook Invests $1 Million in Computer Science Program for Women & Minorities


Facebook has recently invested $1 million in CodePath.org, an organization that teaches computer science to women and minorities in universities across the nation. This investment is projected to help the organization quadruple the number of students accepted each semester in the program. Facebook hopes that this will help the underrepresentation of minority groups in computer science by giving minorities a chance to be more competitive candidates in the industry.

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Breaking Down The Barriers: Unconscious Bias and its Effects on Women in Commercial Real Estate Careers

According to research published last year by the Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Network, the industry median annual compensation for women in commercial real estate fields is $115,000, compared with $150,000 for men—an income gap of 23 percent. The gap is actually widest in the C-suite at nearly 30 percent. While there are examples of women being intentionally paid less for the same role, it is likely that a large part of the difference can be explained due to unconscious bias.

What is unconscious bias? These biases are subtle thought patterns and assumptions we carry about others based on our background, upbringing, and personal experience. Both men and women carry unconscious biases—it’s just part of being human. It helps us categorize situations and other people quickly based on past experience. The harmful consequences of unconscious biases often dissipate once they are brought to light and can be dismissed based on more accurate information.

Common types of unconscious biases include the halo effect (the tendency to think that everything a person does is good because we like a person), the affinity bias (the tendency to be friendliest with people who are most like us), perception bias (forming stereotypes about groups that influence our thinking about individuals) and confirmation bias (the tendency to seek information that confirms our pre-existing beliefs).

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