This week’s Spotlight Interview features Angel Pavon Perez, a new member of KMi. Angel is a PhD Research Student, who focuses on biases in artificial intelligence (AI).
What is your background?
I am a computer scientist from the University of Cordoba with a master’s degree in artificial intelligence from the Polytechnic University of Madrid. Since I started in artificial intelligence, my research has been linked to applying AI techniques in current social issues. In this way, my previous research has focused on detecting fake news with AI methods and the propagation of information in radicalised groups in the manosphere.
Apart from my research, I also enjoy other activities outside the university such as hiking in nature and martial arts training. In fact, this year I won the Spanish national hapkido tournament in the black belt teams’ category.
What can you tell us about your research?
AI systems are nowadays widely used in many areas of our society to achieve more efficient and unbiased decision-making systems. However, it has been shown that these systems can replicate the biases embedded in our society, thus perpetuating inequalities and injustices. Along these lines, my research will aim to study the discriminations that can arise from these artificial intelligence models, with a particular focus on financial services.
What exactly are you researching?
My research is about exploring the different types of biases within these financial services models to explore other techniques to identify and mitigate them to obtain fairer models. In this way, thanks to the collaboration with Visa Europe, we will analyse the biases and try to mitigate them in artificial intelligence systems that are currently being used in financial services.
Why is it important?
Over the past few years, there have been high-profile discrimination cases by artificial intelligence, such as the Apple credit card, which gave higher credit limits to men than to women. However, this work is important not only because of the injustice of some groups being treated differently because of their gender but also because of all the implications that discrimination can have on financial services. In fact, it has been shown that in the United States, there is a possible link between institutional racism (through mortgage discrimination) and health access among black women. Therefore, I believe that this project is important to mitigate this type of injustice and thus make our society fairer.
What would be your predictions for your study area in the future?
Hopefully, this research will provide more knowledge in the area as well as a framework for companies and organisations in the sector to develop or refine their artificial intelligence systems to make them fairer and not repeat past inequalities and injustices.
Thank you, Angel. We look forward to hearing more about your study over the next few years.
If you enjoyed this article and are interested to study a PhD at KMi, we will be advertising here for applicants in early 2022 for an Oct 2022 start.