Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey recently admitted that Twitter’s algorithms “were unfairly filtering 600,000 accounts, including some members of Congress,” based on the followers they had.
“In the spirit of accountability and transparency: recently we failed our intended impartiality. Our algorithms were unfairly filtering 600,000 accounts, including some members of Congress, from our search auto-complete and latest results,” said Dorsey. “We fixed it. But how did it happen? Our technology was using a decision making criteria that considers the behavior of people following these accounts. We decided that wasn’t fair, and corrected. We‘ll always improve our technology and algorithms to drive healthier usage, and measure the impartiality of outcomes.”
“Bias in algorithms is an important topic. Our responsibility is to understand, measure, and reduce accidental bias due to factors such as the quality of the data used to train our algorithms. This is an extremely complex challenge facing everyone applying artificial intelligence,” he added. “For our part, machine learning teams at Twitter are experimenting with these techniques and developing roadmaps to ensure present and future machine learning models uphold a high standard when it comes to algorithmic fairness. It’s an important step towards ensuring impartiality.”