In remarks before the European Parliament, Margrethe Vestager recently argued that, “You can have your AI as soon as I have my gender-balanced society.” While bias in artificial intelligence (AI) is a valid concern, is this the right response? Should Europe postpone the use of AI for decades until bias is eliminated not just from the technology, but from society?
In an op-ed for New Europe, Eline Chivot writes that AI can actually help reduce gender bias and improve social fairness in Europe. AI can help identify and correct for human bias in society and, where algorithms generate biased results, policymakers should encourage the development of de-biasing tools that can make AI more impartial. EU policymakers should also update regulations that make it difficult for companies to gather enough data to improve their AI systems and innovate with solutions to tackle biases. Given the potential of AI and other emerging technologies both for societal and economic prosperity, policymakers should work to reduce harms while also enacting policies to improve their benefits and promote their long-term acceptance.