Today’s AI systems make weighty decisions regarding loans, medical diagnoses, parole, and more. They’re also opaque systems, which makes them susceptible to bias. In the absence of transparency, we will never know why a 41-year-old white male and an 18-year-old black woman who commit similar crimes are assessed as “low risk” versus “high risk” by AI software.
Oren Etzioni is CEO of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence and a professor in the Allen School of Computer Science at the University of Washington. Tianhui Michael Li is founder and president of Pragmatic Data, a data science and AI training company. He formerly headed monetization data science at Foursquare and has worked at Google, Andreessen Horowitz, J.P. Morgan, and D.E. Shaw.
For both business and technical reasons, automatically generated, high-fidelity explanations of most AI decisions are not currently possible. That’s why we should be pushing for the external audit of AI [...]