Is AI innately sexist?

Biased data is likely to create winners and losers in financial services, argues Keyur Patel

The World Today Updated 5 March 2021 Published 6 February 2020 5 minute READ

In November last year, Apple’s recently launched credit card was accused of sexism amid wild headlines about artificial intelligence.

Briefly, what happened is this: David Heinemeier Hansson, a tech entrepreneur, claimed on Twitter that the card gave him a credit limit 20 times higher than his wife, even though her credit score was better than his and they filed tax returns jointly.

The story exploded on social media. Steve Wozniak, Apple’s co-founder, tweeted that he and his wife had seen a similar discrepancy. Soon New York’s financial regulator became involved, saying it would investigate whether the card had violated any state laws.

As part of a statement in response, Goldman Sachs, the card’s issuing bank, said: ‘We have not and never will make decisions based on factors like gender. In fact, we do not know your gender or marital status during the Apple Card application process.’

Subscribe to read all issues

Articles from the current issue are free to read by all, the archive is exclusive to magazine subscribers and our members. Subscribe or become a member to view articles from the archive.