After Facebook announced its own tool to detect bias in an algorithm earlier this month, a new report suggests that Microsoft is also building a tool to automate the identification of bias in a range of different Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms.
The Microsoft tool has the potential to help businesses make use of AI without inadvertently discriminating against certain groups of people, MIT Technology Review reported on Friday.
Although Microsoft’s new tool may not eliminate the problem of bias that may creep into Machine-Learning models altogether, it will help AI researchers catch more instances of unfairness, Rich Caruna, a senior researcher at Microsoft who is working on the bias-detection dashboard, was quoted as saying.
“Of course, we can’t expect perfection — there’s always going to be some bias undetected or that can’t be eliminated — the goal is to do as well as we can,” he said.
The issue of bias will become crucial as more customers make use of these algorithms to take important decisions.
At its annual developer conference on May 2, Facebook announced its own bias-catching tool, called Fairness Flow, as the social network has found that the number of people using AI to make important decisions is increasing at the company.
According to the MIT Technology Review report, UC Berkeley professor Bin Yu says the tools from Facebook and Microsoft seem like a step in the right direction, but may not be enough. She suggests that big companies should have outside experts audit their algorithms in order to prove they are not biased.