How AI Is Wired Up To Be A Privileged White Man 

We have heard artificial intelligence (AI) could take our jobs; now, a new investigation shows how it could make inequalities worse and why women and other minorities are on the chopping board first. 

On today’s The Briefing episode, we speak to Australian journalist and multiple Walkley Award-winning author Tracey Spicer about her new book Man Made: How the bias of the past is being built into the future.  

Siri and Alexa are the most popular digital assistant tools owned by Apple computers and Amazon. However, in Spicer’s book, she refers to them as virtual female slaves. 

I realised that in our homes and offices, chatbots are being voiced as females if they’re there to serve us, but in the business and finance sector, chatbots are voiced by males,”

Spicer said.

That’s a really obvious way of how the stereotypes of the past are being built to the future.” 

Spicer also mentioned that some AI technology products also involved racism and ableism. She gave an example of automated soap dispensers in Marriott hotels worldwide that only worked for white hands. 

“They build their own biases, their own personas into these innovations. And that means a lot of people around the world can’t use them,”

she added.

Believe it or not, that same technology is being built into self-driving cars. So, the cars will come to a pedestrian crossing. And if it’s a white person, the car will stop; if it’s a person of colour, the car will not.” 

Spicer said her book was not about the future, instead, about the present. She argued that from the moment people woke up in the morning to when they went to bed at night, they were marinating in a source of bigoted artificial intelligence.  

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