The Ethical Mirror of A.I. Algorithms

Jamie Arpin-Ricci

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The speed at which Artificial Intelligence programs have entered the mainstream of late is staggering. From image generations like MidJourney and Lensa, to the recent release of ChatGPT, an AI-driven text generator that has staggering abilities already (such as the near-instantaneous composition of a hilarious song about the dangers of marrying an Australian), the implications of what it means to use these programs is only just beginning to dawn on us.

While the specific ethics of using these programs are still very much in development (and debate)- as I addressed in this recent article- the broader challenges that this kind of technology presents must also be examined. Let’s look at a few examples.

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Biases

I did an experiment with Midjourney to produce basic images around certain jobs. For example, I asked it to produce images of a doctor. These were the results:

(images generated by MidJourney AI)

Then I asked it to produce images of a nurse, with these results:

(images generated by MidJourney AI)

So then I tried producing images of a CEO:

(images generated by MidJourney AI)

And, as you might have guessed, I them prompted it to produce images of a secretary:

(images generated by MidJourney AI)

I even went so far as to pick something more generic, choosing “leadership”:

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Jamie Arpin-Ricci

Jamie Arpin-Ricci is a bisexual author & activist with more than 25 years experience living at the intersection of faith, sexuality, and justice.