February 22, 2024

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Meaningful Standards for Auditing High-stakes Artificial Intelligence

When hiring, many organisations use artificial intelligence tools to scan resumes and predict job-relevant skills. Colleges and universities use AI to automatically score essays, process transcripts and review extracurricular activities to predetermine who is likely to be a good student. In response to claims of unfairness and bias in tools used in hiring, college admissions, predictive policing, health interventions, and more, the University of Minnesota recently developed a new set of auditing guidelines for AI tools.

The auditing guidelines, published in the American Psychologist, were developed by Richard Landers, associate professor of psychology at the University of Minnesota, and Tara Behrend from Purdue University. They apply a century’s worth of research and professional standards for measuring personal characteristics by psychology and education researchers to ensure the fairness of AI.

The researchers developed guidelines for AI auditing by first considering the ideas of fairness and bias through three major lenses of focus:

  • How individuals decide if a decision was fair and unbiased
  • How societal, legal, ethical and moral standards present fairness and bias
  • How individual technical domains—like computer science, statistics and psychology—define fairness and bias internally

Using these lenses, the researchers presented psychological audits as a standardised approach for evaluating the fairness and bias of AI systems that make predictions about humans across high-stakes application areas, such as hiring and college admissions.

There are twelve components to the auditing framework across three categories that include:

  • Components related to the creation of, processing done by and predictions created by the AI
  • Components related to how the AI is used, who its decisions affect and why
  • Components related to overarching challenges: the cultural context in which the AI is used, respect for the people affected by it and the scientific integrity of the research used by AI purveyors to support their claims

The researchers recommend the standards they developed to be followed both by internal auditors during the development of high-stakes predictive AI technologies, and afterwards by independent external auditors. Any system that claims to make meaningful recommendations about how people should be treated should be evaluated within this framework.

Industrial psychologists have unique expertise in the evaluation of high-stakes assessments. Their goal was to educate the developers and users of AI-based assessments about existing requirements for fairness and effectiveness and to guide the development of future policies that will protect workers and applicants.

AI models are developing so rapidly, it can be difficult to keep up with the most appropriate way to audit a particular kind of AI system. The researchers hope to develop more precise standards for specific use cases, partner with other organisations globally interested in establishing auditing as a default approach in these situations and work toward a better future with AI more broadly.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, creating smarter, more accurate systems requires a hybrid human-machine approach, according to researchers at the University of California, Irvine. In a study published this month in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, they present a new mathematical model that can improve performance by combining human and algorithmic predictions and confidence scores.

To test the framework, researchers conducted an image classification experiment in which human participants and computer algorithms worked separately to correctly identify distorted pictures of animals and everyday items—chairs, bottles, bicycles, trucks. The human participants ranked their confidence in the accuracy of each image identification as low, medium or high, while the machine classifier generated a continuous score. The results showed large differences in confidence between humans and AI algorithms across images.

This interdisciplinary project was facilitated by the Irvine Initiative in AI, Law, and Society. The convergence of cognitive sciences—which are focused on understanding how humans think and behave—with computer science—in which technologies are produced—will provide further insight into how humans and machines can collaborate to build more accurate artificially intelligent systems.

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.

PARTNER

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.

PARTNER

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.

PARTNER

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. 

PARTNER

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.

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