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NYT: Artificial Intelligence Is Just as Racist as Natural Intelligence
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December 03, 2017, 07:31 AM
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From the NYT oped page:

‘Intelligent’ Policing and My Innocent Children

By BÄRÍ A. WILLIAMS DEC. 2, 2017

… At the same time, I’m terrified for what these advances mean for my two young children. The same technology that’s the source of so much excitement in my career is being used in law enforcement in ways that could mean that in the coming years, my son, who is 7 now, is more likely to be profiled or arrested — or worse — for no reason other than his race and where we live.

Yet in my life, because of the way artificial intelligence and machine learning are being increasingly used by law enforcement — the technology is seemingly growing up alongside my kids — it’s especially acute.

Unjust racial profiling and resulting racial disparities in the criminal justice system certainly don’t depend on artificial intelligence. But when you add it — as many law enforcement agencies across the country, including those in major cities like Miami, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Atlanta and New York, have over the past couple of years — things get even scarier for black families.

This is especially frightening when combined with the fact that the current administration has already begun to reverse Obama-era criminal justice reform policies that were meant to make the system more just.

Because 20% more murder victims in 2016 than in 2014 is the essence of justice.

A.I. works by taking large volumes of information and distilling it down to simple concepts, categories and rules and then predicting future responses and outcomes. This is a function of the beliefs, assumptions and capabilities of the people who do the coding. A.I. learns by repetition and association, and all of that is based on the information we — humans who hold all the racial and often, specifically, anti-black biases of our society — feed it….

The problem with historical crime data is that it’s based upon policing practices that already disproportionately hone in on blacks, Latinos, and those who live in low-income areas.

If the police would just stop counting murders in black neighborhoods then this problem would disappear.

If the police have discriminated in the past, predictive technology reinforces and perpetuates the problem, sending more officers after people who we know are already targeted and unfairly treated, given recent evidence like the Justice Department’s reports on Ferguson, Mo., and Baltimore, and the findings of the San Francisco Blue Ribbon Panel on Transparency Accountability and Fairness in Law Enforcement.

If the police would just stop enforcing the law against black lawbreakers, there wouldn’t be statistics showing blacks commit more crimes.

The problem is not artificial intelligence, it’s intelligence. We demand less intelligence of any kind. Something needs to be done about intelligent beings, whether artificial or natural, being aware that, according to a 2011 Obama Administration report, “Homicide Trends in the United States, 1980-2008,” blacks were 7.6 times more likely to be homicide offenders than were whites.

Personally, I think the best way to make intelligent beings less aware of racial disparities in criminal violence is for blacks to become less criminally violent on average. This would seem like a win-win solution for everybody, but I’m a notorious extremist nut, so what do I know compared to deep thinkers like Bärí A. Williams?

[Comment at Unz.com]