Elon Musk Has Fired Twitter’s ‘Ethical AI’ Team

As more and more problems with AI emerge, including racial, gender, and age biases, many technology companies have set up “ethical AI” groups dedicated to identifying and mitigating such problems.

Twitter’s META unit is more advanced than most in publishing details of issues with the company’s AI systems and in allowing external researchers to investigate algorithms for new issues.

Last year, after Twitter users noticed that the cropping algorithm seemed to favor white faces when choosing how to crop an image, Twitter made the unusual decision to allow its META entity to publish details of the image. The bias it found. The team also launched the first-ever “bias” competition, allowing outside researchers to test algorithms for other problems. Last October, Chowdhury’s team also posted details of the unintentional political bias on Twitter, showing how left-wing media outlets were actually spreading more than leftists.

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Many outside researchers see the layoffs as a blow not only to Twitter, but also to efforts to improve AI. “Great tragedy,” wrote Kate Starbird, an associate professor at the University of Washington who studied false information online.

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Ali Alkhatib, director of the Center for Applied Data Ethics at San University, said: A lot. ” Francisco.

Alkhatib says Chowdhury is well thought out in the AI ​​ethics community and her team has done a really valuable job managing Big Tech. “There are not many corporate ethics groups to pay attention to,” he says. “This is a job I taught in class.”

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Mark Riedl, a professor of AI at Georgia Tech, says the algorithms used by Twitter and other social media giants have a huge impact on people’s lives and need to be studied. “Whether META has any impact on Twitter is difficult to discern from the outside, but the promise is there,” he said.

Riedl adds that allowing outsiders to investigate Twitter algorithms is an important step towards greater transparency and understanding of issues surrounding AI. “They have become observers who can help us all understand how AI is affecting us,” he said. “Researchers at META have outstanding credentials with a long history of studying AI for social benefit.”

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For Musk’s idea of ​​finding an open source Twitter algorithm, the reality would be even more complicated. There are many different algorithms that influence how information is presented and it is difficult to understand them without the real-time data they are being entered in terms of tweets, views and preferences. .

The idea that there is an algorithm with clear political tendencies could simplify a system that can carry biases and problems worse. These revelations are exactly what Twitter’s META team is doing. Alkhatib at the University of San Francisco says, “There are not many teams that have carefully studied the biases and errors of their algorithms.” “META did just that.” And now it is not.


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