But machine learning has a dark side. If not used properly, it can make decisions that perpetuate the racial biases that exist in society. It’s not because the computers are racist. It’s because they learn by looking at the world as the way it is, not as it ought to be.
Recently, newly elected Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) made this point in a discussion at a Martin Luther King Jr. Day event in New York City.
“Algorithms are still made by human beings, and those algorithms are still pegged to basic human assumptions,” she told writer Ta-Nehisi Coates at the annual MLK Now event. “They’re just automated assumptions. And if you don’t fix the bias, then you are just automating the bias.”