Mitigating Racial Bias Requires Conscious Effort

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“The problem of bias in facial recognition systems is perhaps one of the easiest to understand and to solve: a computer only knows the kinds of faces it has been shown. Showing the computer more diverse faces will make it more accurate.”

—Rose Eveleth, “The Inherent Bias of Facial Recognition” on Motherboard

“The studies are numerous and conclusive – we have a significant race problem in empathy. While it will be hard for most of us to know whether or not our brains are reacting equitably in situations that call for empathy, it should be easier to build concern and care for people of other races on a conscious level. Cultivating a more diverse group of friends and engaging in some perspective-taking exercises, mindfully acknowledging the similarities between yourself and others, seem like good steps in the right direction.”

—Princess Ojiaku, “Is everybody a racist?” on Aeon

Unconscious Bias

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We’ve explored the concept of cognitive bias here before, and it’s an important idea to continuously remind ourselves of, as we all are prone to fall prey to problematic thinking each day, given our brain’s reliance on short cuts, heuristics and stereotypes.

Here’s a useful short video from the Royal Society on “Understanding Unconscious Bias” to give you a quick refresher, or introduction, as the case may be:

Further posts here on the topic: