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West Norwood mum starts campaign against racist AI

CAMPAIGN: Ingrid Marsh

TECH ENTREPRENEUR Ingrid Marsh from south east London is taking on the companies behind talking and responsive technology, some of which has been found to be racist and sexist by a number of professionals and users; including the journal Science.

The journal has published a study revealing the fact that stereotypes some people unintentionally hold about women and race are being replicated in artificial intelligence (AI).

Marsh, who has been dubbed 'the bias buster', is the founder of Women With Voices, an organisation that works primarily (but not solely), with women in tech to help get their voices heard and runs events that encouraging young girls to learn coding.

Her campaign, Stop, Think and Reconsider is directed at the UK government, whom she hopes will work to raise awareness of unconscious biases in AI and stop them being unintentionally coded into devices by developers.

Marsh cites a test which showed how an algorithm used in a job search website's code displayed only highly-paid roles and jobs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to men.

RESEARCH: Ingrid Marsh

Another example cited was that of a beauty contest judged by robots who failed to show women with dark skin as winners, due to the data that it was provided.

Also, algorithms resulted in over-policing in predominately black areas because of software that was biased against blacks.

Marsh says:

“I am urging the community to not only become aware of their own unconscious biases, but to also give a second thought to the results of the systems they use. Ask yourself: 'are these results biased?' With awareness, we can counteract our learned beliefs. Currently, the computer systems cannot.”

To get involved in the Stop, Think and Reconsider campaign, click here.

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