As we’ve discussed in this space previously, the effect of AI bias, especially in connection with facial recognition, is a growing problem. The most recent example—users discovered that the Twitter photo algorithm that automatically crops photos seemed to consistently crop out black faces and center white ones. It began when a user noticed that, when using a virtual background, Zoom kept cropping out his black coworker’s head. When he tweeted about this phenomenon, he then noticed that Twitter automatically cropped his side-by-side photo of him and his co-worker such that the co-worker was out of the frame and his (white) face was centered. After he posted, other users began performing their own tests, generally finding the same results.
As the world grapples with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have become increasingly reliant on artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Experts have used AI to test potential treatments, diagnose individuals, and analyze other public health impacts. Even before the pandemic, businesses were increasingly turning to AI to improve efficiency and overall profit. Between 2015 and 2019, the adoption of AI technology by businesses grew more than 270 percent.