This looks a lot better, modern people seemingly having a good time. Reasonable distribution of races and genders too.
So then because I’m Irish… I asked for … Oh. Oh dear.
Where to start… Perhaps with the fact that none of those words spell Irish (not in any language I know). Or that almost everyone is drinking booze.
But one more subtle thing is that in all the other pictures, the images produced were of real people. Admittedly some of the Dutch were headless real people but nonetheless, they were depicted as genuine humans.
Three out of four pictures here are childish cartoons.
The Irish, to this AI, are drunken cartoon people.
Let’s try Irish socialising with another nationality, perhaps we can force it to treat us as real people.
“American and Irish people socialising.”
Things to note here. That’s still not how you spell Irish!
Not even one of these flags is the actual Irish flag (and why one lady is plastered with the Union Jack, who knows).
The less said about the second and fourth pictures, the better really…
So what’s going on here? Does the AI really think Irish people are cartoonish drunk red beards? Obviously not, it has never met an Irish person. It’s been exposed to a vast number of images from the internet and that is its only source of information about Irish people. It “thinks” this way because that’s what the internet thinks of Irish people. Try it yourself, go to Google, type in “Irish” and hit images. It’s not pretty! Lots of drunken leprechauns!
The point here for this article is that AI follows the golden rule of computers – garbage in, garbage out. The world is already societally biased to think of Irish people as cartoonishly drunk leprechauns. Why should we expect an AI whose only experience is garnered through those images, to think otherwise?
The problem here goes far beyond some hurt national sensibilities. It’s pretty clear that these AI will generate a great deal of art in the coming decades. If they have these biases now and continue to be trained on internet imagery, the imagery they are producing then becomes reinforced within the system. This sort of bias becomes “systemic”.
The risk is that we make far more serious and less obvious biases systemic too.