Coded Bias, a documentary about artificial intelligence and how this technology misclassified women and dark-skinned faces. Technology that is proven to be not neutral. Coded bias reveals how much power technology already holds over us. “The film shows a facial analysis system that fails to register Joy Buolamwini, a black engineer until she puts on a white mask. An eye-opening visual metaphor for how technology perpetuates the biases of the people who make it.” Through programming, engineers, programmers,s inventors are passing their conscious and unconscious biases through their developments. Which results in machines that reflect that behavior. “Data is a reflection of our history,” as Buolamwini puts it. “The past dwells within our algorithms.”
Something that was a surprise to me in the film was the value-added model. This is an algorithm for teachers, that takes a lot of data from various things and components, puts it all together to create a rating. This model has ruined teacher tenure opportunities, their jobs, and even their reputation. All while not knowing where this information is coming from, or the data. An example of this from the film is when a teacher won many “teacher of the year” awards and then his rating came from the value-added model one year and it reflected something quite opposite. This not only hurt his confidence as a teacher but made him question himself. As a society, we are programmed to always believe the machine, believe the technology because “how can it be wrong?”
The technology I saw through this film was interesting but also scary. Again, as a society we trust technology so much, our lives rely on it. The Ty robot in the film truly shocked me. Within just hours of analyzing tweets, Ty was using inappropriate, hateful, sexist speech. What does that say about us? I feel as technology grows AI is defiantly something we will rely on for data and research more and more. But what do we trust? Will it be like facial recognition where biases are deeply embedded? This film was honestly really interesting and plan to open a discussion about it with my family this weekend.