Linking Human And Machine Behavior: A New Approach to Evaluate Training Data Quality for Beneficial Machine Learning

Minds and Machines 31 (4):563-593 (2021)

Abstract

Machine behavior that is based on learning algorithms can be significantly influenced by the exposure to data of different qualities. Up to now, those qualities are solely measured in technical terms, but not in ethical ones, despite the significant role of training and annotation data in supervised machine learning. This is the first study to fill this gap by describing new dimensions of data quality for supervised machine learning applications. Based on the rationale that different social and psychological backgrounds of individuals correlate in practice with different modes of human–computer-interaction, the paper describes from an ethical perspective how varying qualities of behavioral data that individuals leave behind while using digital technologies have socially relevant ramification for the development of machine learning applications. The specific objective of this study is to describe how training data can be selected according to ethical assessments of the behavior it originates from, establishing an innovative filter regime to transition from the big data rationale n = all to a more selective way of processing data for training sets in machine learning. The overarching aim of this research is to promote methods for achieving beneficial machine learning applications that could be widely useful for industry as well as academia.

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