The industry of artificial intelligence (AI) is facing a diversity crisis, according to a report submitted by researchers from the AI Now Institute. Thereby, bringing up important questions about the direction in which this field is going as the staff of this institute are strongly white and male figures.
As per reports from the study, it has been seen that the technology of AI is full of bias and discrimination. Hence, it mirrors the fact of inequalities exist in the real world. The report showed that women and people of colour are profoundly underrepresented. In fact, around 80% of AI professors are men; whereas 15% of AI research staff at Facebook and 10% at Google are women.
People of colour are also marginalized, making up only a fraction of staff at major tech companies. AI Technology which is chiefly developed in major tech companies like Facebook, Microsoft, and Google and in small labs are leaned towards the white and male. Thus, the workforce is often driven by white and male outlook. In spite of numerous studies for checking the flow of various job candidates to industry, there has been no significant improvement in diversity in the AI industry.
Diversity might be an obstacle across the tech industry, presents definite dangers in AI, where likely biased technology, such as facial recognition, can improperly affect historically sidelined groups. Tools such as a program that scans faces to detect sexuality, mirrors injustices. However, the makers of AI tools have to be ready to not build the riskiest projects.
Although, employees of the tech industry have taken a stand on some crucial AI issues, asking their companies to drop or review the use of sensitive tools, which might hurt vulnerable groups.
Meredith Whittaker, the author of the report and co-founder of the AI Now Institute stated that by recruiting more women, people of colour and other belittled groups can artificial intelligence address the bigotry and develop more equitable systems.