Artificial intelligence systems have become an integral part of our daily lives, impacting decisions ranging from job applications to healthcare diagnoses. However, these systems are not immune to biases, which can result in unfair outcomes. An Oregon State University doctoral student, Eric Slyman, along with researchers at Adobe, have developed a novel training technique called FairDeDup to address this issue.

FairDeDup Algorithm

FairDeDup, short for fair deduplication, focuses on removing redundant information from datasets used to train AI systems. This process significantly reduces the high computing costs associated with training while also tackling biases present in society. The key idea behind FairDeDup is to ensure that AI models do not perpetuate unfair ideas and behaviors by removing biased data during the training process.

The FairDeDup algorithm employs a technique known as pruning to thin out datasets of image captions collected from the web. Pruning involves selecting a subset of data that accurately represents the entire dataset, allowing for informed decisions about which data points to keep and which to discard. By incorporating controllable dimensions of diversity, FairDeDup aims to mitigate biases related to occupation, race, gender, age, geography, and culture.

Social Justice and Fairness

Slyman emphasizes the importance of addressing biases during dataset pruning to create AI systems that are socially just. The goal is not to impose a predefined notion of fairness but to provide a framework for AI to act fairly in various contexts and user bases. This approach empowers individuals to define what fairness means in their specific settings, ensuring that AI reflects the values and perspectives of the communities it serves.

Presented at the IEEE/CVF Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition in Seattle, FairDeDup offers a cost-effective and accurate solution for reducing bias in AI systems. By integrating fairness considerations into the deduplication process, FairDeDup enables more inclusive and equitable AI training. Collaborating with researchers at Adobe, Slyman and his team are pioneering efforts to promote social justice through technology.

As we continue to rely on artificial intelligence for critical decision-making, it becomes imperative to address biases that may perpetuate unfair outcomes. The FairDeDup algorithm represents a significant step towards creating more inclusive and fair AI systems. By targeting biases during the training phase, we can strive towards a future where technology reflects the diversity and values of society.


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