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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

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”