Internet giant Google is waging a war against the inherent biases, most notably along gender and racial lines, that plague its vast sets of data.As one of the biggest and most powerful companies in the world — parent company Alphabet is worth about R10-trillion — Google’s decisions about how to sort and present its deep pools of data can have far-reaching consequences for society.The group recently listed "Avoid creating or reinforcing unfair bias" as one of its seven "principles" for artificial intelligence (AI), otherwise known as machine learning — a process of feeding data into a system so it can "learn" and identify patterns.The problem is, says Jen Gennai, Google’s head of ethical machine learning, trust and safety, "data is biased", particularly when it comes to gender and race."Using the gender example, most of our texts have been written by men and reflect the lives of men," says Gennai, whose team is tasked with creating more "representative" data sets to move away from o...

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