Researchers at MIT are apologizing this week after one of its research projects included racial and gender-based slurs in a massive dataset used to train AI systems. The AI was designed to identify objects in photographs such as trees, cars, plants, and pets, but also learned racial and gender slurs from the training dataset.
According to a report by The Register, researchers at MIT were forced to apologize this week after their artificial intelligence started using racial slurs.
The artificial intelligence program was designed to automatically identify objects and people in pictures. Using a massive dataset of 80 million images, the program was able to identify objects such as picnic spreads, trees, pets, and trees.
Eventually, the program began labeling photos of people with racial slurs and women with gender-based slurs. In response, MIT immediately pulled the massive dataset offline.
In a statement, the researchers behind the project said that the data collection process that was designed to enhance the knowledge of the artificial intelligence program inevitably came across racial and gender-based slurs.
It has been brought to our attention that the Tiny Images dataset contains some derogatory terms as categories and offensive images. This was a consequence of the automated data collection procedure that relied on nouns from WordNet. We are greatly concerned by this and apologize to those who may have been affected.
The dataset is too large (80 million images) and the images are so small (32 x 32 pixels) that it can be difficult for people to visually recognize its content. Therefore, manual inspection, even if feasible, will not guarantee that offensive images can be completely removed.
We therefore have decided to formally withdraw the dataset. It has been taken offline and it will not be put back online. We ask the community to refrain from using it in future and also delete any existing copies of the dataset that may have been downloaded.
Breitbart News reported this week that a separate group of researchers at MIT has developed an autonomous robot that can sanitize large indoor spaces to prevent the spread of the Chinese virus.
Stay tuned to Breitbart News for more updates on this story.