Artificial Intelligence Research is Awash in Dudes, and That Could Be a Problem

Our AI systems may be suffering from a lack of diversity in who builds them, a recent Bloomberg Technology article charged. “I call it a sea of dudes,” said Margaret Mitchell, the only female researcher in Microsoft’s “cognition” group. Over the last five years Mitchell’s worked with hundreds of men — and approximately ten women. “I do absolutely believe that gender has an effect on the types of questions that we ask. You’re putting yourself in a position of myopia,” she said. In other words, if artificial intelligence researchers want their systems ultimately to assume a central place in people’s lives, then these systems should be influenced by input from all people, not just men. But an even more startling statistic emerged last week from a startup named Textio, which helps…


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