Building bias into AI is my biggest concern, says UAE minister

During the World Government Summit earlier this month, Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri also spoke about how technology can have some bias

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Waheed Abbas

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Published: Sat 25 Feb 2023, 2:21 PM

Last updated: Sat 25 Feb 2023, 2:25 PM

Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri, the UAE’s Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology and Chairwoman of the UAE Space Agency and the UAE Council of Scientists, said building bias into artificial intelligence (AI) is her biggest concern and called for governing the framework to develop AI systems.

While speaking during an event organised by The Arab Gulf States Institute, she said AI, in general, is a tool that firms don't develop for the sake of it but for the benefit of either solving a problem, creating a new opportunity, overcoming a challenge and so on.

“In terms of potential for what AI can do, like any tool, if it's used in the right place, you realise the potential of it. If it's used in the wrong place at the wrong time, then you don't necessarily realise the potential of it,” Al Amiri said in a reply to a question.

“My biggest personal concern is building bias into AI. That will make him not inclusive, skewed in some areas, and then create a massive ripple effect. One area that is not governed but needs to be governed is sort of a framework on how you develop those AI systems, rather than how you govern,” she said.

During the World Government Summit earlier this month, the UAE minister also spoke about how technology has some kind of bias. “We see that today even the much-lauded ChatGPT is a biased system. It does have constructs that have been put into it that are considered biased and not all-inclusive,” she said.

The AI-backed ChatGPT is a powerful bot that has human-like conversations based on the input it is given.

The UAE minister pointed out that companies and industrial players adopted AI at times that were not relevant.

“They've basically spent an amount of money into a system that is not the solution they're looking for. So maybe a word of caution here is to find the right tool for the problem you're solving or for the direction going to rather than purchasing or investing in the shiniest object as part of the hype today,” she said.

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