Jump to Content

Moving Beyond “Algorithmic Bia is a Data Problem”

Sara Hooker


A surprisingly sticky belief is that a machine learning model merely reflects existing algorithmic bias in the dataset and does not itself contribute to harm. Why, despite clear evidence to the contrary, does the myth of the impartial model still hold allure for so many within our research community? Algorithms are not impartial, and some design choices are better than others. Recognizing how model design impacts harm opens up new mitigation techniques that are less burdensome than comprehensive data collection.