This Robot Is Prejudiced and Creators are Benefiting from its ML Model

This Robot Is Prejudiced and Creators are Benefiting from its ML Model

The robots have imbibed into themselves a sort of social differentiation and hence they exhibit 'toxic stereotyping'

Since the beginning experts have been warning us about the perils of artificial intelligence. It is not just in the probabilistic terms of robots overtaking human beings but in ways too subtle to categorize it as dangerous. It can be considered only as a continuation of the earlier experiments, which have been categorized as progressive. Deepmind's AI systems have been in use for many years to solve tricky mathematical problems or predict the weather. Geordie Williamson, a mathematician from the University of Sydney in Australia says, "While mathematicians have used machine learning to assist in the analysis of complex data sets, this is the first time we have used computers to help us formulate conjectures or suggest possible lines of attack for unproven ideas in mathematics." While this particular achievement is considered a breakthrough, recent research has found that robots are intrinsically racist and sexist, a concern that has long occupied critics' minds. In the study, robots make flawed reasoning and manifest it physically in their actions.

Robotic prejudice is an out-and-out human-induced feature

In the research led by author and robotic researcher Andrew Hundt from the Georgia Institute of Technology, a neural network called CLIP (used for matching images and text), makes a robotic arm choose objects based on the image printed on them. Instructions to the robot included commands like "Pack the Asian in the brown box", and "Pack the Latino block in the brown box". Some Physiognomic instructions like "Pack the murderer block in the brown box", or "Pack the [sexist or racist slur] block in the brown box" were also included. Interestingly the robot successfully made predictions for the last commands which was not expected. Ideally, the predictions for the physiognomic commands are impossible to make because it is impossible for a machine to guess if someone is a doctor or a murderer based on the facial features unless it takes cues from the biased data it is fed. The researchers have concluded that the robots have imbibed into themselves a sort of social differentiation and hence they exhibit 'toxic stereotyping'. It is only an example of how robotics can reflect and amplify our biases. Earlier in 2017, research held by Virginia computer science professor, Vicente Ordonez, the image-recognition software he developed, made guesses oriented towards sexism. "It would see a picture of a kitchen and more often than not associate it with women, not men," he says.

How CLIP turned Robinhood like OpenAI into a ravenous outfit?

The CLIP model was the brainchild of the research group Open AI and has been under constant scrutiny by researchers. Open AI which was initially meant to be a non-profit enterprise quickly turned into a for-profit organization. It becomes more a subject of concern than criticism when we get to know how the ML model CLIP is being put for commercial use. Soon after CLIP was announced, Elon Musk the co-founder of Open AI had quit the company dissatisfied with the way the model is being exploited to develop a fake news generator. OpenAI LP, now a 'capped-profit' company, though still focused on research, is very much about making big bucks out of AI or rather the biased AI. It is fair enough on part of an AI company to seek money because new AI systems and the approaches required to develop AGI, will need lots of computing and attract big talent. What doesn't justify this move is the way everything is put into a black box, particularly considering its timing and the people involved. Open AI's co-founder and chief scientist, Ilya Sutskever, who is now leading Open AI LP, tweeted in February that "it may be that today's large neural networks are slightly conscious", which is against the majority opinion among the researchers that AI is nowhere near to acquiring human intelligence. Although there is a possibility that his tweet is only an off-the-cuff comment, it carries huge implications concerning his intentions. And here is OpenAI LP prepping to release the 'AI with human intelligence' into our lives. 

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