AI and Bias: How to Detect it and How to Prevent it

Abstract: 

Western societies are marked by diverse and extensive biases and inequality that are unavoidably embedded in the data used to train machine learning. Algorithms trained on biased data will, without intervention, produce biased outcomes and increase the inequality experienced by historically disadvantaged groups.

Recognising this problem, much work has emerged in recent years to test for bias in machine learning and AI systems using various bias metrics. In this paper we assessed the compatibility of technical fairness metrics and tests used in machine learning against the aims and purpose of EU non-discrimination law. Unfortunately 13/20 of the tests do not live up to UK and EU standards. One of the reasons is that they are developed in the US where a different notion of fairness and discrimination prevails.

We provide concrete recommendations including a user-friendly checklist for choosing the most appropriate fairness metric for uses of machine learning under EU non-discrimination law.

Bio: 

"Professor Sandra Wachter is Professor of Technology and Regulation at the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford where she researches the legal and ethical implications of AI, Big Data, and robotics as well as Internet and platform regulation. At the OII, Professor Sandra Wachter leads and coordinates the Governance of Emerging Technologies (GET) Research Programme that investigates legal, ethical, and technical aspects of AI, machine learning, and other emerging technologies.

Professor Wachter is also an affiliate and member at numerous institutions, such as the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, World Economic Forum’s Global Futures Council on Values, Ethics and Innovation, the European Commission’s Expert Group on Autonomous Cars, the Law Committee of the IEEE, the World Bank’s Task Force on Access to Justice and Technology, the United Kingdom Police Ethics Guidance Group, the British Standards Institution, the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights at Oxford’s Law Faculty and the Oxford Martin School. Professor Wachter also serves as a policy advisor for governments, companies, and NGO’s around the world on regulatory and ethical questions concerning emerging technologies.

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