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National Institute of Standards and Technology Report Highlights Biases in AI

Federal agencies and officials utilising artificial intelligence systems need to vigilantly monitor and control for systemic and racial biases included in machine learning technology, according to a new report from the National Institute of Standards and Technology. This recommendation comes from an extensive report on how organisations and enterprises, both private and public, can cultivate better trust in Artificial Intelligence.

The main distinction between the draft and final versions of the publication is the new emphasis on how bias manifests itself not only in AI algorithms and the data used to train them but also in the societal context in which AI systems are used.

Context is everything. AI systems do not operate in isolation. They help people make decisions that directly affect other people’s lives. If we are to develop trustworthy AI systems, we need to consider all the factors that can chip away at the public’s trust in AI. Many of these factors go beyond the technology itself to the impacts of the technology, and the comments we received from a wide range of people and organizations emphasized this point

– Reva Schwartz, Principal Investigator for AI Bias

Bias in AI can harm humans. AI can make decisions that affect whether a person is admitted into a school, authorized for a bank loan or accepted as a rental applicant. It is relatively common knowledge that AI systems can exhibit biases that stem from their programming and data sources; for example, machine learning software could be trained on a dataset that underrepresents a particular gender or ethnic group. The revised NIST publication acknowledges that while these computational and statistical sources of bias remain highly important, they do not represent the full picture.

A more complete understanding of bias must take into account human and systemic biases, which figure significantly in the new version. Systemic biases result from institutions operating in ways that disadvantage certain social groups, such as discriminating against individuals based on their race. Human biases can relate to how people use data to fill in missing information, such as a person’s neighbourhood of residence influencing how likely authorities would consider the person to be a crime suspect. When human, systemic and computational biases combine, they can form a pernicious mixture — especially when explicit guidance is lacking for addressing the risks associated with using AI systems.

To address these issues, the NIST authors make the case for a socio-technical approach to mitigating bias in AI. This approach involves a recognition that AI operates in a larger social context — and that purely technically based efforts to solve the problem of bias will come up short.

Organisations often default to overly technical solutions for AI bias issues. But these approaches do not adequately capture the societal impact of AI systems. The expansion of AI into many aspects of public life requires extending our view to consider AI within the larger social system in which it operates.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, NIST titled “Engineering Trustworthy Secure Systems”, addresses the engineering-driven perspective and actions necessary to develop more defensible and survivable systems, inclusive of the machine, physical, and human components that compose those systems and the capabilities and services delivered by those systems.

The need for trustworthy secure systems stems from the adverse effects associated with a diverse set of stakeholder needs that are driven by mission, business, and other objectives and concerns. The characteristics of these systems reflect a growth in the geographic size, number, and types of components and technologies that compose the systems; the complexity and dynamicity in the behaviours and outcomes of the systems; and the increased dependence that results in a range of consequences from major inconvenience to catastrophic loss due to adversity within the global operating environment.

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Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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As a Titanium Black Partner of Dell Technologies, CTC Global Singapore boasts unparalleled access to resources.

Established in 1972, we bring 52 years of experience to the table, solidifying our position as a leading IT solutions provider in Singapore. With over 300 qualified IT professionals, we are dedicated to delivering integrated solutions that empower your organization in key areas such as Automation & AI, Cyber Security, App Modernization & Data Analytics, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

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SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.