Petitioning UK Government and 2 others

Bye, Bye Perfect. Campaign to Stop Stereotyping in Artificial Intelligence & Advertising

35
Supporters

“We have a different level of responsibility when you’re designing a product that really impacts people’s lives." 

DJ Patil, former US chief data scientist tells Techcrunch

THE PROBLEM:

Studies reveal stereotypes held about women, minority groups and girls as young 6, impact their self-belief, intellectual performance and motivation.  There was also a significant increase this year of mental illness among young girls due to increase pressure on how they look. A further recent study showed girls and young women feel they hold themselves back due to gender stereotypes, sexism, and anxiety about how they look. Yet a recent study in the journal Science showed that Artificial intelligence highlights, as well as perpetuates the stereotypes unconsciously held about these groups. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the term for computer systems that think and act like humans and its use is rapidly increasing.  

THE SOLUTION:

Experts agree the solution to the problem is humans. To prevent these prejudices being amplified the onus is on us.

THE PLAN:

We are urging the government to launch a jargon-free publicity campaign to help the general public, young adults and girls to spot biases in technology and in advertising and override them.

About me:

Hi, my name is Ingrid, when I read an article about a new study on Artificial Intelligence (AI) that was published in the journal Science I decided to act. In my quest to get women's voices heard and teaching at a Saturday school, every day I am faced with the aftermath of bias, unconscious or otherwise. The article showed that one the fastest growing area of technology perpetuates stereotypes and the unconscious biases held about women and minority groups and yet the public have no clue. 

Experts say: "Removing bias or statistical facts about the world will make the machine model less accurate. But you can’t easily remove bias, so you have to learn how to work with it. We are self-aware, we can decide to do the right thing instead of the prejudiced option." - Caliskan Princeton University.

Please sign the petition to urge the government to launch a jargon-free publicity campaign to help the general public spot biases and override them. 

What is unconscious bias?

Unconscious bias is where we make snap judgements and assessments about people, especially those who don't look like us. It happens to us all, especially when we are tired or rushed. We are becoming increasingly reliant on AI to make important decisions for us, such as in recruitment selection. The biases of the individual coders get passed on to AI. Indeed, while humans can counteract their learned behaviours, computers can't. This has resulted in the reinforcement of sexism, racism and other forms of discriminatory outcomes.

How simple is it to make a change?

Research supports the idea that if we simply stop and give ourselves a moment to think, we can make the unconscious, conscious and make more healthy less biased decisions. 

STOP: Slow down your thoughts

THINK: Was it a snap judgement?

RECONSIDER: Your decision

Do you have any examples of what is happening?

+ There were instances where algorithms were only showing highly paid roles and jobs in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) to men.  

+ Robot judges were used to shift through 6000 applicants in a beauty contest assessing for facial symmetry and wrinkles. Due to the data it was provided it didn't flag up anyone with dark skin as a winner.

There are many, many more. Check out the articles below. 

Stats and facts:

  • One in 10 school-aged children will have a mental health condition at any time, with half of all mental health conditions beginning before the age of 14
  • According to Dr Joanna Moncrieff, a consultant psychiatrist and senior lecturer at University College London, we now live in a culture that makes people anxious and encourages the idea that everything can be achieved or bought, that 100 per cent is not enough and that you have to be the perfect.
  • By age 10 a quarter of girls feel they need to be perfect
  • An article in the Guardian highlights how just like humans Artificial intelligence can be both sexist and racist. Joanna Bryson, a computer scientist at the University of Bath and a co-author said: “A lot of people are saying this is showing that AI is prejudiced. No. This is showing we’re prejudiced and that AI is learning it."
  • Research published in the journal 'Science' demonstrates how biases are replicated in machine learning tools
  • The use of AI is on the increase and predicted to jump from 54% to 63% in three years time. Source: 2017 Global Digital Survey
  • The Gartner market research company forecasts that the era of smart machines will become one of the most disruptive phases in the history of IT. Source:Siemens.com
  • Companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians. Source: Mckinsey

Useful Articles:

  • The New York Times highlighted a study by Yale University which concluded that "Science professors at American universities widely regard female undergraduates as less competent than male students with the same accomplishments and skills."
  • An article on the BBC's news website highlighted the work done by Joy Buolamwini, a postgraduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She was unable to carry out her work on face recognition algorithms unless she wore a white mask as it did not recognize her dark skin.
  • New York Times article on a study that raised concerns about high paying jobs not being shown to women in search results and data that resulted in over-policing in predominately black areas because of software that was biased against blacks.
  • Why diversity programmes fail is highlighted in Harvard Business Review.

Please sign our petition today for a better world for our children.

Ingrid Marsh

Women With Voices
WomenWithVoices.co.uk

 

This petition will be delivered to:
  • UK Government
  • Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party
    Theresa May MP
  • Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

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