Trends that could change everything in the next decade


CCS Insight delivered a set of future predictions at its annual future-gazing event in London on Thursday 3 October. CCS InsightA longer than usual time frame was the focus, stretching to 2030. A total of 90 predictions were released. I include some interesting ones below.

 

PREDICTIONS

By 2021, algorithmic and anti-bias data auditors emerge to tackle “pale, male and stale” artificial intelligence.

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Bias and Diversity in Computing


In the past several weeks, the topic of Digital Ethics has come up several times. A critical piece of this discussion involves the bias that is and will be built into the applications of artificial intelligence. Amy Webb is a Quantified Futurist, Professor, Strategic Foresight at NYU, and the Founder and CEO of The Future Today Institute. In March of this Year, Amy published a book titled The Big Nine.

In her book, she tackles the issues associated with bias; specifically, the lack of diversity in computing. In this recent Article, Amy discusses the consequences of computer systems that don’t anticipate all the types of people who might use them. For example, Computers have started issuing prison sentences. Bias and DiversityA quick look at one of the largest technology companies underscores the severity of the issue: At Google, more than 95 percent of technical workers are white or Asian.

In reacting to the big focus on STEM, AMY had this to say: “If everyone is focused on the nuts and bolts of making software quickly at scale, where will they learn to design it with equity and care? Critical thinking is what the computers won’t be able to do,”. I recommend both the book and the article as a means of education and awareness regarding this critical issue of bias.