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Silicon Valley Is Inserting Its Biases Into Nearly Every Technology We Use - Motherboard
In 2015, a Google Photo algorithm auto-tagged two black friends as "gorillas," a result of the program having been under-trained to recognize dark-skinned faces. That same year, a British pediatrician was denied access to the women's locker room at her gym because the software it used to manage its membership system automatically coded her title--"doctor"--as male. Around the same time, a young father weighing his two-and-a-half-year-old toddler on a smart scale was told by the accompanying app not to be discouraged by the weight gain--he could still shed those pounds!

These examples are just a glimpse of the embedded biases encoded in our technology, catalogued in Sara Wachter-Boettcher's new book, Technically Wrong: Sexist Apps, Biased Algorithms, and Other Threats of Toxic Tech. Watcher-Boettcher also chronicles more alarming instances of biased tech, like crime prediction software programs that mistakenly code black defendants as having a higher risk of committing another offense than white defendants, and design flaws in social media platforms that leave women and people of color wide open to online harassment.

Nearly all of these examples, she writes, are the result of an insular, mostly-white, tech industry that has built its own biases into the foundations of the technology we use and depend on.

by Bernard (bernard) on Sun Oct 15th, 2017 at 12:21:00 PM EST
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