Self-Drivings Cars Are ‘More Likely’ To Hit And Kill Black People

It is not the first time that machine learning and vision systems have been shown to have an in-built bias. 

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Autonomous driving.
Autonomous driving. Olivier Le Moal / Shutterstock.com

Would you believe it?

Self-driving cars are likely to be racist towards black people.

The Independent newspapers reported on Wednesday that self-driving cars have a racist bias that makes them more likely to drive into black people, a new study claims.

The state-of-the-art detection systems, such as the sensors and cameras used in autonomous vehicles, are better at detecting people with lighter skin tones, according to researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology, the newspaper reported.

That makes them less likely to spot black people and to stop before crashing into them, the authors note.

“We hope this study provides compelling evidence of the real problem that may arise if this source of capture bias is not considered before deploying these sort of recognition models,” the study concluded.

It is not the first time that machine learning and vision systems have been shown to have an in-built bias.

In January, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) found that Amazon’s facial recognition software Rekognition had a harder time identifying a person’s gender if they were female or darker-skinned.

For more read: New study suggests autonomous vehicles might be racist

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