Tag: Language

Scientists Taught A Robot Language. It Immediately Turned Racist.

Scientists Taught A Robot Language. It Immediately Turned Racist.

One day a few years ago, while talking to a journalist in her office, Harvard computer science professor Latanya Sweeney typed her name into Google’s search bar to pull up a study. As results filled in, the page also brought up an alarming advertisement: for a service that would search for arrests against her name.The journalist perked up. Forget the paper, he told her, tell me about that arrest. That’s impossible, Sweeney replied — she had never been arrested.Sweeney decided to get to the bottom of the phenomenon. Armed with the names of 2,000 real people, she searched on Google.com and Reuters.com and noted how the ads delivered varied depending on the person’s race. In a 2013 study, she observed that searches for typically African American names suggested an arrest