Why Diversity Really, Really Matters in AI

Here it comes Among candidates to become the next big thing in STEM, artificial intelligence gets a lot of attention. AI represents in-demand workplace skills, is cresting in popularity among students, and has a rising profile in the media. It gets this attention for all the change it promises to bring to schools, workplaces, and our civic lives. However, AI, so far, promises little change in one area of vital importance to all these areas: demographics. The field presents many of the same diversity challenges that other tech-intensive fields do, with cultural and structural obstacles to entry and success for women and minorities. A wider problem than equity within the field, though, arises from the lack of diversity in AI. The ever-growing impact of AI-driven products and systems promises, among other things, to extend and reinforce, in countless exchanges between AI systems and individuals, the biases built into them […]

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