Artificial intelligence has probably already made decisions about you. Here’s why that matters
Author Leah Hawkins
Date 30 November 2021
Artificial intelligence is often considered as making neutral decisions based on purely mathematical analysis of data. While this is somewhat true, the reality of human bias and exploitation undercuts this utopian vision.
In an article published in the ABC, ADM+S Research Fellow Dr Jathan Sadowski describes the prevalence of automated decision-making systems in our everyday lives, from assessing insurance claims to recommending songs on Spotify. These algorithmic programs sort through massive amounts of data in order to make informed decisions about humans—what they like, if they can pay back a loan, or whether or not they should receive a fine.
There is, however, growing ethical concern about the use of these programs. Often the data they use is sorted by exploited workers in marginalised communities, and the decisions they make show gender and racial biases indicating the human origins of their programming.
So how can these technologies become more transparent and accountable, and what kind of technologies are compatible with a democratic society? “That’s a question more of us need to consider, since the answer will have a profound impact on everybody,” said Dr Sadowski.