A press release that fell through the letter box recently drew attention the issue of data bias. The release said that Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE) employed an AI algorithm trained on online image search results for ‘engineer’ to generate images of what it learned a typical engineer looked like – a white man wearing a hard hat. It is the perpetuation of the stereotype, that engineers are white, male and wear hard hats, with its impact on recruitment from a broader pool for a wider range of engineering roles that is the issue for the RAE.
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