Problematic Applications of AI -- "Are you permitted to live here?"

Artificial Intelligence is a wonderful thing.... until it is making decisions that impact your liberty. Imagine for a moment that you want to move into an apartment. The company management, worried about being accused of discrimination, has wisely turned the approval task over to a bot that checks your credit history, your criminal record, your job history and other things it can find about you online to determine whether you are a suitable tenant. Could anything about you endanger the property or other tenants? Can the management be sure that you will pay your bills on time? Is your work laying people off because of problems in the market place? Sadly, this scenario isn't far fetched. The Verge recently reported this story that clearly illustrates the challenges that AI can pose for people who have encountered a few bumps in life. The real challenge with using these kinds of tools is that they empower new and insidious forms of discrimination. Imagine being unable to live in a place because you are too much one the right or left wing of politics. Imagine being unable to live in a place because you lost your job 20 years ago. Imagine being unable to live in a place because you were banned from a social media platform. These are the things that become possible in a world where almost every action we take is recorded and remembered. As the article shows the impacts of this kind of technology can be far reaching.-- especially when we remove the human capacity for compassion from the decision loop.


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