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A new study suggests black people are more likely to get hit by an autonomous vehicle than white people, Vox writes.

Why it matters: The findings are the latest example of how human bias seeps into artificial intelligence. If AVs are trained with data that includes only light-skinned people as examples of what constitutes a "human," they won't recognize dark-skinned people as also "human" in the real world.

Details: The study, by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology, tried to determine how accurately state-of-the-art object-detection models, like those used by self-driving cars, detect people from different demographic groups, Vox explains.

  • Researchers divided a large dataset of images that contain pedestrians by skin tone.
  • Then they compared how often the AI models correctly detected the presence of people in the light-skinned group versus how often they got it right with people in the dark-skinned group.
  • Detection of dark-skinned people was 5 percentage points less accurate.

The bottom line: AI, including that in AVs, can be just as biased as their creators and this needs to be addressed.

  • Samantha Huang, a senior associate at BMW iVentures, wrote about the problem last fall, after observing while riding in the back of an AV test vehicle that it failed to detect 2 pedestrians who were black.
  • Had these engineers come from more racially diverse backgrounds, she wrote, they probably would have been less likely to plug in only images of light-skinned people into their algorithms.

Go deeper: Humans cause most self-driving car accidents

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
11 mins ago - World

True COVID-19 death toll is double the official numbers, study finds

Expand chart
Data: IHME; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

There have been twice as many deaths from COVID-19 around the world as have been reported, according to the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), which analyzed excess mortality and other factors.

The big picture: The U.S. has undercounted by over 300,000 deaths, while the death tolls in India and Mexico — second and third on the list, respectively — are nearly three times the official numbers, according to the analysis.

Top Wall Street cop says report on meme stocks is coming

Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Wall Street's top regulator says a report examining meme stock mania will be coming "sometime this summer."

The big picture: It will "detail the range of activities" that came out of the January events," SEC chair Gary Gensler said Thursday at a third congressional hearing held to dissect the GameStop trading phenomenon.

Exclusive: Jennifer Garner to be featured in Mother's Day vaccination campaign

Jennifer Garner. Photo by IngleDodd Media/via Getty Images

Actress Jennifer Garner will team up with the Biden administration in a coordinated campaign to encourage vaccinations around Mother's Day, Axios has learned.

Driving the news: The administration is eager to keep up the pace of inoculations now that all adult Americans are eligible but the pace of vaccinations is starting to slow.