Blake Wood
Publish Date

The following story was published by The State Journal-Register on Sept. 4, 2023.

Joining a host of states across the country, Illinois is taking a hard look at the emerging presence of artificial intelligence — a computer technology that can perform problem-solving and decision-making typically seen by humans — by considering its possibilities while weighing its risks.

Illinois was the first to regulate AI's use in videoed job interviews, where other states such as New York have followed, after concerns of racial bias causing more Black candidates to be passed over for an opening.

The technology however still has merits, said University of Illinois-Springfield computer science associate professor Elham Buxton, when used under the right conditions. In both the courtrooms and in other avenues where AI has been and will be used, she believes a hybrid approach of those that measure the technology's social impact with those possessing technical knowledge is essential.

"When we consider our AI model, we need to compare it with the status quo," said Buxton, teaching at UIS for 10 years. "For example, if you want to use an AI model to predict recidivism, then you compare it, you audit that system, find those statistical metrics for fairness, and compare it with the status quo right now … for the judges. Is our AI model, improving the status quo as far as fairness or not?"

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