Eliminating Unconscious Biases from Artificial Intelligence

Eliminating Unconscious Biases from Artificial Intelligence

By Manufacturing Technology Insights | Friday, November 30, 2018

Productivity and innovation in the manufacturing sector is a multi-faceted challenge, but the appropriate use of technology certainly supports the efforts. IoT, big data, automation, additive manufacturing, virtual and augmented reality are emerging technologies and support the advancement of Industry 4.0. However, manufacturers are yet to fully embrace Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the revolutionary change it can bring.

Biases in AI

Technology is an expression of how it is programmed. If the AI programmer or developer is unconsciously biased, the technology may also be inaccurate. This bias may raise some issues. Communication is the key to efficient manufacturing and using AI to streamline communications could be useful in predictive maintenance.

AI can effectively streamline communication, but communication across the global workforce via AI can lead to errors. Digital translation tools aren’t always accurate because language cannot be translated without context. Simple text-based translation algorithms lack in deriving contexts. Therefore, communication to a global workforce via digital translation tools can be hazardous as words and phrases mean different things in different languages.

To remove this bias, AI needs training. AI tools must be able to communicate and collaborate with humans responsible for the factory. Creating an AI algorithm and not training is entirely in vain.

AI Needs to be trained

Machines can learn to operate without human interference, but they need to be trained continuously with unbiased data inputs to avoid stereotyping of races, language, and gender. 

Facial recognition and voice recognition can fall prey for such biases. The developers must train the models to ensure that it doesn’t just work with Caucasian faces or certain accents. The computer vision or voice system requires extensive training with faces and voices of a different set of races, accents, and genders to remove all the biases. Substantial work is being carried out to eliminate all troublesome biases.

The Potential of AI

The potential of AI is boundless. AI offers several benefits in manufacturing, society, and across all facets of businesses. The implementation of AI can offer predictive maintenance, faster problem solution, and time efficiency.  Rest assured that AI is not here to snatch jobs instead it is a mathematical tool to improve human lives.

AI’s great capabilities can be implemented in many sectors including manufacturing, but AI is complex, the implementation requires training of the system. AI can make manufacturing operations smarter, but it will be only as good as its human creators. 

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