SAN FRANCISCO — Last fall, Google unveiled a breakthrough artificial intelligence technology called BERT that changed the way scientists build systems that learn how people write and talk.
But BERT, which is now being deployed in services like Google’s internet search engine, has a problem: It could be picking up on biases in the way a child mimics the bad behavior of his parents.
BERT is one of a number of A.I. systems that learn from lots and lots of digitized information, as varied as old books, Wikipedia entries and news articles. Decades and even centuries of biases — along with a few new ones — are probably baked into all that material.