Artificial Intelligence is undoubtedly an exciting field. We are making machines think like humans, mimic our actions, and solve problems more efficiently than us, at this at an unprecedented level and speed. But beyond the hype, I can’t help but wonder: does more efficiently mean better? Are some of our actions worthy of being mimicked? And should some of our ways of thinking about the world even be reinforced? If, like me, you’re concerned about these issues, here are five books to educate yourself on:
- Automating Inequality by Virginia Eubanks is a thorough investigation of data-based discrimination in healthcare, housing, and child welfare services in the USA. Through first-hand accounts and emotional personal stories, she reveals how technology affects human rights and works to the disadvantage of the poor and working-class people.
- Weapons of Math Destruction by Cathy O’Neil explains what it means to live in the age of the algorithm, where mathematical models trained on Big Data have the power to decide our future in an instant, reinforce discrimination, and even undermine democracy.
- Algorithms of Oppression by Safiya Umoja Noble exposes how negative biases against women of color are embedded in search engine results and algorithms, through an analysis of text, media searches, and paid online ads.
- Technically Wrong by Sara Wachter-Boettcher demystifies the tech industry, unraveling underlying sexism, bias, and threats in popular health, dating, and shopping apps.
- Race After Technology by Ruha Benjamin illuminates how hyped technologies can advance white supremacy and social injustice, thus reinforcing racial discrimination.
- Bonus: The Stanford Seminar on Ethical and Social Issues in Natural Language Processing, if you want to read research papers with guiding analysis questions.
With great power comes great responsibility. AI has been entrusted with tremendous power in many areas of our everyday life, but the responsibility for its actions has been left out of discussion, or debated at most. These five books prove the urgency of having a serious global discussion and taking measures about the ethics and responsibility for AI uses!