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The black sheep problem in machine learning

Introduction. Hal Daumé wrote an interesting blog post about language bias and the black sheep problem. In the post, he defines the problem as follows: The ”black sheep problem” is that if you were to try to guess what color most sheep were by looking and language data, it would be very difficult for you to conclude that […]

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A Brief Report on AI and Machine Learning Fairness Initiatives

This report was created by Joni Salminen and Catherine R. Sloan. Publication date: December 10, 2017. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are becoming more influential in society, as more decision-making power is being shifted to algorithms either directly or indirectly. Because of this, several research organizations and initiatives studying fairness of AI and machine […]

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Feature analysis for detecting algorithmic bias

Feature analysis could be employed for bias detection when evaluating the procedural fairness of algorithms. (This is an alternative to the ”Google approach” which emphasis evaluation of outcome fairness.) In brief, feature analysis reveals how well each feature (=variable) influenced the model’s decision. For example, see the following quote from Huang et al. (2014, p. 240): […]

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How to measure media bias?

Introduction Media bias is under heavy discussion at the moment, especially relating to the past presidential election in the US. However, the quality of discussion is not the way it should be; I mean, there should be objective analysis on the role of the media. Instead, most comments are politically motivated accusations or denials. This […]

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Solving online debates by finding root cause (=fundamental difference)

Introduction. Here’s an argument: Most online disputes can be traced back to differences of premises. I’m observing this time and time again: two people disagree, but fail to see why that is, although for an outside it seems evident. Each party believes they are right, and so they keep on debating; it’s like a never-ending […]

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What is a neutral algorithm? (And does it even exist?)

1. Introduction Earlier, I had a brief exchange of tweets with @jonathanstray about algorithms. It started from his tweet: Perhaps the biggest technical problem in making fair algorithms is this: if they are designed to learn what humans do, they will. To which I replied: Yes, and that’s why learning is not the way to […]

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Belief systems and human action

Human-machine interaction on social platforms relies on human input. That input is driven by human bias. One form of bias is based on what I call ”belief systems”. Understanding different belief systems, e.g. by more advanced linguistic analysis, can yield solutions to various social problems on the Internet, such as online disputes and forming of […]

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The Neutrality Dilemma in Machine Decision-Making

So, I read this article: Facebook is prioritizing my family and friends – but am I? The point of the article — that you should focus on your friends & family in real life instead of Facebook — is poignant and topical. So much of our lives is spent on social media, without the ”social” part, and […]