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Understanding Bias in Artificially Intelligent Algorithms

Is discrimination inevitable when it comes to AI? And what is the importance of diversity?

It is clear that artificial Intelligence is going to change almost every industry in business, government and society - but we have to understand its limits. An artificial intelligence application is only as great as the individual that programmed it - it's as straightforward as that.

If this is the case, given the infinite biases of humans, can we ever be sure that the artificial intelligences we adopt are reasonable and unbiased? According to scientists, any artificial intelligence that learns from human language is very likely to come away biased in identical ways that humans are.

Take for example the hiring process. Having hiring procedures automated is extremely attractive, given that it saves time and allows for managers to concentrate on other business pursuits and overall strategy.

However, time and time again artificial intelligence hiring systems simply didn't appear to work reliably regarding job applicants of color. Unsupervised learning methods attempt to learn independently. If you have not gone out of your way to ensure and test that your technology is inclusive, then it is best to avoid using it.

Decisions made by systems aimed toward personalization will inevitably create bias. Of course, human decision making without the assistance of AI isn't necessarily fairer or more transparent. However, we often times assume that the work of machines is infallible - in the case of artificial intelligence bias, this could prove to be a big mistake.

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There's no simple remedy to solving the issue of bias in AI, as it is not designed for the type of pattern recognition that can be most helpful in making inclusive hiring decisions. This being said, there are many tech leaders who still aspire to utilize AI to augment (and in some instances, replace) human decision-making.

Machine bias is increasingly impactful due to the expansive uses in today's world. Quite simply, biases will probably infiltrate any AI which uses GloVe, or that learns from human language generally. Reporting bias happens when the dissemination of research findings is influenced by the character and direction of the results, for example in systematic reviews. Simply put, if you're not conscious of the biases in training data, then you won’t be able to prevent the problem on a larger, algorithmic scale. For example, substantial racial bias has been shown to occur frequently in AI predictions.

It's tough to identify our own biases and, thus, extremely tricky to spot and prevent biases in AI technology. If there is an answer to the problem, it lies in the data and the people behind the machines.

Algorithms are simply permitted to match dependent on the data we tell it to look at, and are already having an impact without much consideration for inherent biases. For example, current algorithms are already be subtly distorting the types of healthcare someone receives, or the way in which they get treated in the criminal justice system. If there are racial, gendered or other biases in the data or coding of the algorithm, this can have a serious impact on the lives of already disadvantaged groups.

Phani Nagarjuna, chief analytics officer at Sutherland, sums this up nicely, stating “Quite often, AI becomes an immediate reflection of those who assemble it. An AI system will not only adapt to the same behaviors of its developers but reinforce them. The best way to prevent this is by making sure that the designers and developers who program AI systems incorporate cultural and inclusive dimensions of diversity from the start.”


Annie Brown is the founder of Lips, a cryptographic online platform for women and the LGBTQ community. 



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Is an OLED screen worth it?

OLED monitors tend to have faster pixel response times and better contrast ratios, although their very high prices make them much less accessible than ordinary LCD monitors.

As such, we do not yet recommend purchasing an OLED monitor, as a high-quality LCD monitor will be fully capable of providing a satisfying experience at much lower prices.

OLED technology has been around for a while, but it's only just starting to break into the monitor and TV market. Even so, screens using this technology remain few and more importantly - they are expensive.

So what is the reason for the exorbitant price of most OLED monitors, and what are their advantages and disadvantages compared to ordinary LCD monitors?

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OLED vs LCD display technology

Whenever you see a screen marketed as an “LED” monitor, it usually means an LED LCD screen. To be more specific, it uses LED backlighting, but it's the LCD technology that does most of the work.

On the other hand,

OLED technology has no active backlight. Instead, each pixel is independently lit and works as its own light source.

This has many implications for the quality and performance of a screen.

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Contraste OLED vs LCD

OLED screens have been present in smartphones for a long time.

In fact, Samsung’s first Galaxy S phone used OLED, although the technology was much less refined at the time.

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For years, smartphone users have debated the merits of the LCD vs OLED display, and everything that can be said about it also applies to larger displays.

OLED displays can achieve much higher contrast because they can display true black by simply turning off pixels.

On the other hand, any screen with active backlight cannot completely block the light, so that black is displayed in dark gray. Certainly, some panels (like VA) are better for displaying blacks, but they still don't match the OLEDs in this department.

Speaking of backlighting, there is a common problem that LED LCD screens to call bleeding from the backlight. When this happens, some of the light “bleeds” on the screen, leading to inconsistent blacks.

This can happen either as irregular white spots (so-called "clouds") or as visibly brighter areas at the corners or along the edges of the screen.

Since OLED displays do not use active backlighting, they do not have this problem. Overall, OLED wins hands down in this regard.

Observation angles

A viewing angle determines the width of the angle from which the display can be viewed without any visible loss of image quality. As you move outside the specified viewing angle of the screen, the color distortion begins to become visible.

OLED screens have excellent viewing angles, mainly because there is very little space behind the screen for the light to diffract.

The situation with LCD screens is a little more complicated since the viewing angles depend mainly on the type of panel used. So, for example, a good IPS panel can easily match the viewing angles of an OLED, while a TN panel can't even get close to it.

OLED color reproduction

The most remarkable and often the most marketable quality of a screen is its ability to dazzle the viewer with its vibrant and realistic color reproduction.

In most cases, OLED and LCD screens are on flat ground in this regard.

However, as with viewing angles, the color accuracy of an LCD screen depends mainly on the panel used. IPS and VA panels tend to have excellent color reproduction, while colors produced by TN panels tend to look quite washed out.

HDR is a display technology with a simple goal: to make the displayed image appear as close to reality as possible. This is achieved by creating a more realistic contrast and producing a more intense light.

Now, as we have already determined, OLED definitely has the advantage in terms of contrast. However, LCD screens can still hold on by having a more powerful backlight. Both technologies are quite capable of producing good HDR, so, once again, we have a tie.

Performance - Refresh rate and response time

Well, first of all, you'll be happy to know that modern OLED displays are quite capable of achieving such high refresh rates. In addition, their theoretical limits are very high, so that they could reach even higher refresh rates one day, but this is not necessary.

As for response times, they literally overwrite LCD screens as they can have response times as low as 0.1ms. During this time, the fastest TN panels cannot go down to 1ms.

We are inclined to give the OLED focus, mainly because of the much faster response times.

OLED vs LCD screen price

And now the big question - is an OLED screen worth it?

As we said before, OLED displays are very expensive and will remain so for the foreseeable future. More importantly, it is not only that they are expensive, but that they are of questionable value. Their only concrete and the tangible advantage is their superior contrast.

That said, we will have to give this round to the LCD screens. A good LCD monitor will be more than capable of equaling an OLED in terms of visual quality and performance.

Conclusion Should we buy an OLED screen?

Overall, we do not yet recommend purchasing an OLED display.

As is often the case with (relatively) new technologies, it takes time to perfect them and to truly penetrate the market. Do you remember when the first 4K TVs started to roll out and cost thousands of euros?

Now you can get a 4K TV for less than € 300. Not really a good 4K TV, but a 4K all the same.

It will be the same with OLED in the years to come. Manufacturing processes will improve, the technology itself will improve, and prices will eventually fall to more affordable three-digit numbers.

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