Technicae novicius: Artificial Intelligence

The information we trust most comes not from strangers, but from friends. From those with whom we have stood in circles spinning yarn and sharing tea. What follows are my notes and research on a given topic – this episode is about AI – as well as some thoughts, questions, and realizations I have had along the way. It’s by no means a polished post, but, by design, a rough snapshot of my knowledge as it develops. My name is Stephanie. I’m a consultant developer here at ThoughtWorks. More importantly, this should be that circle where ideas are exchanged. New thoughts are formed and we sip tea together exploring the questions posed and the dialogue that follows.

  • Correctional Offender Management Profiling for Alternative Sanctions (Compas) AI for decision-making in judicial system –
    • Specifically where is it being used?
  • Deep Neural Networks Can Detect Sexual Orientation from Faces –
    • Given a single facial image, a classifier could correctly distinguish between gay and heterosexual men in 81% of cases, and in 71%of cases for women.
    • LGBT groups objected citing that this tech could be used by anti-LGBT governments and orgs to target people the algorithm identified


  • Do conversations and implementations of AI inherently require conversations about privacy?
  • Is “outperforming humans” a good metric of success in AI?
  • What’s the error threshold people are willing to tolerate?
  • Humans create AI -> Is AI inherently going to have bias?  AI is inherently going to have a bias.

Image: “Lychee & Peach tea with robot.” (CC BY 2.0) by squeezeomatic

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