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Roundup Hello, here's a quick recap on all the latest AI-related news beyond what we've already reported this week.
Are self-driving cars racist? You may have seen news reports that autonomous cars are unlikely to detect pedestrians crossing the road if they have dark skin, and thus run them over. And yes, the internal alarm bells in your head should be going off, as a closer look at the research behind the stories shows all those headlines screaming about racist AI are a little off the mark.
Paper - Heart - Matter - Series - Experiments
The academic paper at the heart of the matter described a series of experiments testing different computer vision models, such as the Faster R-CNN model and R-50-FPN, on images of pedestrians with different skin tones. The study's authors, based at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the US, described how they paid humans to look through the collection of roughly 3,500 photos, and individually tag people in the snaps as either “LS” for light skin or “DS” for dark skin, and then trained the neural networks using this dataset. The eggheads took some steps to ensure the manual classification process did not suffer from any cultural biases.
They found that their models subsequently struggled to detect people with dark skin, which led them to conclude: “This study provides compelling evidence of the real problem that may arise if this source of capture bias is not considered before deploying these sort of recognition models.”
Internet - Software - Pedestrians - Road - Folks
That led the internet to conclude that seemingly racist robo-ride software will ignore and run over black pedestrians as they cross the road. However, folks seem to have forgotten that while today's potentially commercially viable self-driving cars use video cameras to see around them, they also have another vision system: lidar. This uses laser light pulses to detect the outline of people crossing the...
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