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AI Concept “The potential for machine learning systems to amplify discrimination is not going away on its own,” says one expert. “Companies need to actively teach their technology to not discriminate.” (Image: Shutterstock)

While machine learning systems – if designed well — can help minimize human bias in decision-making, it’s also very possible that such systems can also reinforce systemic bias and discrimination, according to the World Economic Forum white paper, “How to Prevent Discriminatory Outcomes in Machine Learning.”

The WEF report cites many real-life examples and “what-if” scenarios in which there is risk for discrimination when designing algorithms for machine learning systems, including the real potential for exclusionary health insurance systems, Erica Kochi, co-leader of UNICEF’s Innovation Unit, writes in Quartz.

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Katie Kuehner-Hebert

Katie Kuehner-Hebert is a freelance writer based in Running Springs, Calif. She has more than three decades of journalism experience, with particular expertise in employee benefits and other human resource topics.

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