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Exploring Women in AI: Should We Even Build AI?

TL;DR: Key Highlights

* Sarah Myers West, a prominent voice in the AI ethics field, encourages more consideration on ‘why’ we build artificial intelligence (AI).
* West emphasizes the need for questioning intentions and purposes before diving into AI development.
* She calls for more diversity in AI field and the input of a wider range of perspectives.
* West voices concerns over AI systems replicating or exacerbating human biases and discrimination.
* Public skepticism and push for transparency are seen as crucial for AI’s ethical evolution.


In a recent article published by TechCrunch, Sarah Myers West, a leading authority in the field of AI ethics, recommends a rather provocative question: “Why build AI at all?”. This query challenges the long-standing narrative that AI development is an inevitable, almost natural progression of technology, compelling us to evaluate our motivations behind the endeavor.

West makes a resolute call for diversity within the AI circle. She posits that a broader demographic in the creation and deployment of AI technologies will bring about an array of perspectives, which is essential to this rapidly evolving domain.

Significantly, she also warns against AI systems carrying forward human flaws—such as biases and discrimination. She posits that if only a homogeneous group control the AI narrative, there’s a risk of AI systems merely intensifying these undesirable human traits.

Moreover, West underscores the critical role of public skepticism in the ethical evolution of AI. Increased transparency, she suggests, is a sine qua non to generate this essential skepticism, ensuring AI development is held accountable to societal norms and standards.


Having immersed myself deeply in the tech world, I often sway towards embracing the relentless march of AI development. But West’s argument to step back and question “why” we build AI is both refreshing and necessary.

While AI has the potential to drastically improve our lives, it’s pivotal to ensure its benefits are evenly distributed, rather than widening existing societal disparities. That’s why West’s call for diversity in the AI field rings especially true to me. The greater the variety of voices participating in AI development, the less likely the technology is to blindly carry forward human biases.

I also appreciate West’s suggestion that public skepticism and increased transparency in AI are key to its ethically conscious development. It’s a reminder that AI, like any technology, should be designed and used responsibly.

As we look into the future, it’s crucial that we continuously ask ourselves “why” we are striving for advancements in AI. Only then can we truly harness the potential of artificial intelligence for the betterment of society as a whole.


Source: TechCrunch

What are your thoughts on West’s approach to AI development? Do you agree that questioning the “why” behind technological advancement is important for ethical progress?

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