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Fostering Inclusivity in AI Development

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Recent research by Assistant Professor David Jurgens and Doctoral Candidate Jiaxin Pei from the University of Michigan School of Information unveiled a significant revelation. Their study demonstrated that the individuals responsible for annotating data, encompassing texts, videos, and online media, carry substantial influence due to their unique demographics, life experiences, and backgrounds.

Professor Jurgens emphasised that these annotators can be treated in various ways, as their diverse perspectives significantly impact data labelling. The study’s implications underscored the importance of comprehending the annotators’ backgrounds and diligently gathering labels from a demographically balanced cohort of crowd workers. By embracing this approach, the aim is to mitigate the inherent biases often present in datasets.

The research’s methodology involved analysing a substantial dataset comprising 6,000 comments. This scrutiny revealed a crucial insight: the beliefs and decision-making processes of the annotators profoundly affect the performance of learning models employed to flag the deluge of online content they encounter daily.

What one segment of the population deems polite might be rated significantly less polite by another, highlighting the nuanced and subjective nature of politeness and offensiveness in the digital realm. This revelation serves as a poignant reminder of the intricate dynamics when interpreting online interactions and content perception within a diverse society.

Pei underscored the significance of the type of data employed by AI systems, emphasising that their study offered a crucial revelation regarding identifying the individuals responsible for labelling this data. When data annotation is limited to a specific subset of the population, the resulting AI system may fail to capture the broader average perspective accurately.

Jurgens and Pei’s research endeavour was driven by the aspiration to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the divergent identities among annotators and the profound influence their unique experiences exert on their decision-making processes. Unlike previous studies that focused on singular aspects of identity, such as gender, their objective is to enhance AI models, ensuring they more effectively encapsulate the diverse beliefs and opinions of the entire spectrum of individuals.

The study provided several notable insights. Firstly, it challenges earlier research by revealing no statistically significant difference in offensive language ratings between men and women. However, it does show that individuals with nonbinary gender identities tend to rate messages as less offensive compared to those identifying as men and women. Additionally, participants aged 60 and above tend to assign higher offensiveness scores than their middle-aged counterparts.

A striking observation pertained to the influence of racial factors on offensiveness ratings. Black participants consistently rated the same comments as more offensive than individuals from other racial groups. It suggested that classifiers trained on data annotated by white individuals may potentially underestimate the perceived offensiveness of comments for Black and Asian individuals.

Interestingly, there were no significant variations in annotator education concerning offensiveness ratings, suggesting that educational background did not significantly shape these perceptions.

Using these findings, Jurgens and Pei developed POPQUORN, a comprehensive Potato-Prolific dataset designed for Question Answering, Offensiveness assessment, text Rewriting, and politeness rating with nuanced demographic considerations. This dataset provides social media and AI companies a unique opportunity to construct models that account for diverse, intersectional perspectives and beliefs.

Jurgens raised a crucial question regarding the increasing use of Generative AI in daily tasks. He highlighted the importance of knowing the values embedded in these trained models. If a representative sample is consistently taken without acknowledging differences, certain groups of people might continue to be marginalised.

Pei emphasised that POPQUORN is pivotal in ensuring equitable systems that align with individuals’ beliefs and backgrounds, fostering inclusivity and fairness in AI applications.

PARTNER

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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CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

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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.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

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.