Lokke Moerel – AI knows you better than your spouse

Lokke Moerel’s TEDxAmsterdamWomen 2017 talk touched on the positive and negative aspects of artificial intelligence (AI). Many countries, throughout the world, use AI as a tool. Yet, it has come under recent scrutiny for its (perceived) weakness: the ability to both discriminate and discover discrimination. Through her talk, Moerel illustrated AI’s profound impact on increasing awareness to human bias.

Although Lokke hates cookies, she too ‘accepts’ them when surfing the web. But Lokke urges us to think before we click. We are often missing information. And, we can only make decisions if we have the information to make those decisions.

Lokke warns us, “We are about to lose ourself in a land of data.” And she points out that AI is neither good nor bad, nor is it neutral. According to her, AI is biased. But, because AI uses algorithms -- fed with information, primarily via white males --  its bias is confined to gender and race.

We are a world in transition and new technologies will increasingly impact society; yet, it is impossible to tell precisely what impact they will have. Where electricity extended man’s physical power, information technology is extending man’s thinking power.

AI is continuously learning -- from us and from everything we feed it. It is in constant development, which means it can have serious implications to our welfare and privacy. Just think, ‘Are you happy that new AI can guess whether you’re gay or straight simply from scanning a photograph?’ Perhaps it’s scary to think that AI may know you better than your spouse.

Lokke emphasized the deeper message of her talk: We need new rules! AI will gain more influence and the need for these rules is becoming more obvious as we develop. It’s only a matter of time.


Missed the event but still want to see Lokke’s talk? Check out her TEDtalk here!