Artificial intelligence

The biases baked into artificial intelligence

When it comes to decision making, it might seem that computers are less biased than humans, but algorithms can be just as biased as the people who create them.

Why it matters: One study from MIT Media Lab found that leading facial recognition systems correctly identified male faces 99 percent of the time, but made mistakes up to 35 percent of the time with dark-skinned female faces. This has major consequences for people, because algorithms can help with decisions from who can travel freely to who is arrested and how long they go to jail.

China's plan to control the future of the internet

Man uses cell phone to take picture of Christmas lights, which are out of focus
A man takes a photo in Beijing. Photo: Wang Zhao/AFP/Getty Images

President Xi Jinping is ramping up China's efforts to control speech on the internet at home and export that more restrictive model abroad, Adam Segal details in Foreign Affairs.

Why it matters: "Given China’s size and technological sophistication, Beijing has a good chance of succeeding — thereby remaking cyberspace in its own image," Segal warns. "If this happens, the internet will be less global and less open."