AI and Bias: is AI 'biased' (and is that our fault)?

Welcome to the very first episode of the We and AI podcast! To kick-off the series, Kevin and Peju are investigating the topic of bias. The problem of ‘biased AI’ dominates the public conversation around artificial intelligence today — and it plays a major part in every episode in this series. So, we want to start our journey by addressing bias: what is it, what impact does it have, where does it come from — and can we get rid of it? Joining Kevin and Peju on this inaugural episode are two very special guests: journalist Angela Saini and technologist and author Dr Robert Elliott Smith. Angela is an independent British science journalist and author. She’s probably best known for her documentaries on the BBC, and her two books on the history of science, including her most recent: Superior: The Return of Race Science. Rob is the CTO of Mirza, a company developing tech to help close the gender pay gap. He’s also Senior Fellow of the Computer Science Faculty at University College London — and excitingly, he’s just published a book: Rage Inside the Machine: The Prejudice of Algorithms and How to Stop The Internet Making Bigots of Us All. With Angela and Rob on-hand to help, we’re ready to delve into the most important topic surrounding AI today. Are you ready to follow us? References Peju mentioned the GCSE grading scandal which occurred when algorithms were used to determine GCSE and A-level results in August of 2020. Angela mentioned Data, a fictional character in the TV show Star Trek. Angela mentions a book by Jennifer Eberhart, Biased: Uncovering the hidden prejudice that shapes what we see, think and do. Kevin mentions the famous example of Amazon’s failed AI recruiting tool (find out more about this on our AI and Jobs episode). Rob mentions the science fiction novel The Diamond Age: Or, A Young Lady's by American writer Neal Stephenson, which describes artificial intelligence as ‘pseudo intelligence’. For a more detailed discussion of the themes that emerge in this episode, read our blog post at

Om Podcasten

A podcast series asking questions about artificial intelligence and the impact it's having on the world around us. Join us on our AI journey. Hosted by Kevin Butler and Peju Oshisanya Produced by Laura Robinson Theme music by Michael O'Reilly Supported by We and AI