tech

Artificial intelligence's rise exposes gaping gender gap

8 Comments
By MATT O'BRIEN

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I have yet to work for a company that has gender specific pay grades.

Has anybody ever seen one?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I have yet to work for a company that has gender specific pay grades.

Has anybody ever seen one?

Yeah, that's how it works. Business have written policies about gender-specific pay. Funny that you think there is no disparity in pay because you haven't seen such a policy but expect the rest of us to buy your Deep State conspiracy theory.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Christ, not this again...

Preparations for this year's event drew controversy not only because there weren't enough female speakers or study authors.

Exactly how many females will ever be "enough"? Are we aiming for 50:50 representation in every conceivable profession? If so, why isn't anyone looking into the lack of female representation in military, construction, waste disposal, coal mines, oil drilling, firefighting, police, steel working, logging, roofing, fishing... the list goes on. Female representation is a non-issue when it comes to dangerous and difficult jobs, because no one cares how many men struggle and die as long as the females are safe and happy. It's only an issue when it's about comfortable, well-paying jobs.

AI systems look for patterns in huge troves of data — such as what we say to our voice assistants or what images we post on social media. These systems can share the same gender or racial prejudices found there.

[...]

This year, Google tests of an email feature designed to predict what someone wants to write turned up evidence that its algorithms were making biased assumptions — referring, for instance, to a nurse as "her" and an engineer as "him." The company said it ended up removing all gender pronouns before launching the feature in May.

Well, yes, that's their entire purpose for existing. Recognizing patterns in reality and predicting the reoccurrence of those patterns. Assuming a nurse is female and an engineer is male is reflective of reality, since most nurses are female and most engineers are male. Recognizing and reflecting this reality is the entire point of AI systems - if they were completely unbiased they would be completely useless and you'd get the same results by flipping a coin. But sure, let's intentionally cripple technology to make it pretend reality is something it isn't because some individuals don't like it - that seems imminently useful.

"The more diversity we have in machine learning, the better job we will do in creating products that don't discriminate,"

So... the more diversity you force, the more you render the technology useless? Can't argue with that.

And while a growing number of researchers and product designers are devoting attention to solving these problems

What problems? If technology correctly fulfilling the purpose it was created for is a problem, I take it the solution to the problem is getting rid of all technology?

A rogue Microsoft chatbot spouted sexist and racist remarks.

Because it was specifically targeted and trained by malevolent actors.

A Google app to match selfies to famous works of mostly Western art lumped many non-whites into the same exoticized figures.

This is an issue how? Isn't this all about diversity and equality in the first place? You'd think this would be a good thing then, but of course not, because that would be too damn logical

In another example, a study looking at several prominent AI systems for recognizing faces showed that they performed far better on lighter-skinned men than darker-skinned women.

Because light skin is distinctly different than dark skin from a physical/light point of view and any algorithm would obviously produce different results for two distinctly different problems? But no, that would again be too logical, so it must be that a computer program is programmed to be racist, by racists.

they released a survey of more than 2,000 attendees — mostly men — that found most were OK with it. That led Anandkumar to start a Twitter hashtag to step up the pressure.

Ah, a classic SJW pattern - have a problem with something, and assume everyone has a problem with it. Find out that no one else has a problem with it. Insist that there is a problem anyways and rally an army to force everyone to adapt to you.

Versace, co-founder of AI startup Neurala, said that despite improvements, a lot more needs to be done to make AI reflective of society, not just the small group of people working on it.

Gotta love how the irony is completely lost on these people... The AI already IS reflective of society, which is precisely why it has "biases" that reflect it. The very same biases you're trying to ignore and erase for the small group of people who have trouble accepting reality, reducing the usefulness of AI in the process.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

What a truly ridiculous article. It almost reads like satire. If you want to write an article about AI and gender, why not write about whether more male or female dominated professions are likely to be affected by new technology? Of course, it will probably be men working in industries such as transport and logistics in the near future, but that probably doesn't appeal to the author's political agenda. Instead, this guy wants to write about how the NIPS conference name is somehow sexist. Ridiculous.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

One estimate by startup incubator Element AI shows women making up just 13 percent of the AI workforce in the U.S

Well, maybe women have other things to invent, or just do.

I certainly have and I am not a woman.

Why not look at young vs. old too, or place of birth, or even astrological signs. Probably just as interesting and certainly far less predictable (except the age one).

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Ridiculous article and premise.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Enough of this forced BS already, all that has to be done is encourage women to pursue these areas of study/work, over time IF women are interested their numbers will naturally rise.

But enough of this forced ""equality BS"" it really is grating & the whining is getting hard on my ears

Just put on your Nikes & DO IT, enough complaining....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

While I certainly don't want women feeling like they can't work in this industry. If you have the brains and the interest you should go for it. Really dumb to ignore the contribution 50% of the population could make.

BUT, this idea we need to shoehorn women into A.I and IT in general seems to be very much one way.

I don't hear people complaining about the yawning gap and lack of men working in heathcare, teaching, aged care, child care, veterinary and many, many others. Some of these jobs pay very well but there is no sense men are missing out on these well paying jobs.

Why do we panic about women's lack of representation in engineering etc?

Seems to be an every increasing degree of concern and programs trying to get women into professions where they are not highly represented due largely to their own choices, but there is absolutely no attempt, at all, to encourage men to enter into female dominated occupations.

Stinks of sexism to be honest. Stinks of favorable treatment. And its no wonder men are increasingly angered by it.

All government funding for these programs needs to be removed and men should be agitating for it. People shouldn't have their tax dollars going towards programs that encourage favoritism of one particular gender in the workplace.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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