An AI stereotype catcher

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Science  14 Apr 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6334, pp. 133-134
DOI: 10.1126/science.aan0649

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Those who converse regularly with their smartphones know that the language skills of computing devices have emerged from a lengthy childhood. On page 183 of this issue, Caliskan et al. unveil a new language achievement of artificial intelligence (AI) (1). In large bodies of English-language text, they decipher content corresponding to human attitudes (likes and dislikes) and stereotypes. In addition to revealing a new comprehension skill for machines, the work raises the specter that this machine ability may become an instrument of unintended discrimination based on gender, race, age, or ethnicity.