As of this week, I have a new article in the July-August 2023 Special Issue of American Scientist Magazine. It’s called “Bias Optimizers,” and it’s all about the problems and potential remedies of and for GPT-type tools and other “A.I.”
This article picks up and expands on thoughts started in “The ‘P’ Stands for Pre-Trained” and in a few threads on the socials, as well as touching on some of my comments quoted here, about the use of chatbots and “A.I.” in medicine.
I’m particularly proud of the two intro grafs:
Recently, I learned that men can sometimes be nurses and secretaries, but women can never be doctors or presidents. I also learned that Black people are more likely to owe money than to have it owed to them. And I learned that if you need disability assistance, you’ll get more of it if you live in a facility than if you receive care at home.
At least, that is what I would believe if I accepted the sexist, racist, and misleading ableist pronouncements from today’s new artificial intelligence systems. It has been less than a year since OpenAI released ChatGPT, and mere months since its GPT-4 update and Google’s release of a competing AI chatbot, Bard. The creators of these systems promise they will make our lives easier, removing drudge work such as writing emails, filling out forms, and even writing code. But the bias programmed into these systems threatens to spread more prejudice into the world. AI-facilitated biases can affect who gets hired for what jobs, who gets believed as an expert in their field, and who is more likely to be targeted and prosecuted by police.
As you probably well know, I’ve been thinking about the ethical, epistemological, and social implications of GPT-type tools and “A.I.” in general for quite a while now, and I’m so grateful to the team at American Scientist for the opportunity to discuss all of those things with such a broad and frankly crucial audience.
I hope you enjoy it.