Debevoise Hosts Panel on Confronting Bias in AI

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On April 9, 2018, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP hosted Confronting Bias in Artificial Intelligence, a panel discussion offering insight into the rapidly changing field of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

The panel was moderated by Anna R. Gressel, a litigation associate at Debevoise, and featured the following thought leaders on artificial intelligence from the legal and tech space:

  • Andrée Gagnon, Assistant General Counsel, Corporate, External and Legal Affairs at Microsoft Canada.
  • Wynne Leung Kim, Head of Audience Strategy & Data Platform at IBM.
  • Sandra Philips Rogers, Chief Legal Officer, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Toyota Motor North America.
  • Harumi Urata-Thompson, founder and CEO of HUT Consulting, and
  • Wanji Walcott, SVP & General Counsel of PayPal Holdings, Inc.

Artificial intelligence is playing an increasingly significant role in our daily lives—from programs that build our newsfeeds and playlists to software that determines whether we can get a loan or make parole. As noted by one of our panelists, there are now robots roaming shopping malls and interacting with customers. But how difficult is it to determine who these robots—or, indeed, any machine learning system—are deciding to target or what criteria is driving their decisions?

As our panelists explained, there is a need to consider the new challenges and obstacles posed by artificial intelligence technologies. For example: how do companies balance transparency and security? How can we regulate while still promoting innovation in this important field? And is there a way to build artificial intelligence that is free of bias?

While the answers to these questions will likely be determined over time and within existing industry and legal frameworks, our panelists agreed there is one thing all companies can do to begin addressing bias: build diverse teams. Diversity in the workplace allows for greater breadth of knowledge, varied approaches to creative problem solving and more meaningful collaboration. Through encouraging diverse perspectives, we can begin shaping more inclusive, thoughtful artificial intelligence. You can learn more about the panel discussion here.

This panel was co-sponsored by the Harvard Law School Women’s Alliance of New York, the Harvard Business School Women’s Association of Greater New York, the Debevoise Women’s Resource Group, and the Debevoise Women’s Review.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is a premier law firm with market-leading practices, a global perspective and strong New York roots. We deliver effective solutions to our clients’ most important legal challenges, applying clear commercial judgment and a distinctively collaborative approach.