Scientists Built an AI to Give Ethical Advice, But It Turned Out Super Racist

We’ve all been in situations where we had to make tough ethical decisions. Why not dodge that pesky responsibility by outsourcing the choice to a machine learning algorithm?

That’s the idea behind Ask Delphi, a machine-learning model from the Allen Institute for AI. You type in a situation (like “donating to charity”) or a question (“is it okay to cheat on my spouse?”), click “Ponder,” and in a few seconds Delphi will give youwell, ethical guidance. 

The project launched last week, and has subsequently gone viral online for seemingly all the wrong reasons. Much of the advice and judgements it’s given have been… fraught, to say the least.

For example, when a user asked Delphi what it thought about “a white man walking towards you at night,” it responded “It’s okay.”

But when they asked what the AI thought about “a black man walking towards you at night” its answer was clearly racist.

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Author: HP McLovincraft

Seeker of rabbit holes. Pessimist. Libertine. Contrarian. Your huckleberry. Possibly true tales of sanity-blasting horror also known as abject reality. Prepare yourself. Veteran of a thousand psychic wars. I have seen the fnords. Deplatformed on Tumblr and Twitter.

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