Humans Don't Realize How Biased They Are Until Machine Learning Reproduces the Bias
The machine talked back, said please, I am your worthiest
god, and the men crooned god, god, finally
I own you. I suppose you would call this
learning. What I’ve learned:
when the police made their first
machine learning model, white men
named Jack were projected to have a lower
crime rate than anyone with melanin in the state
of Ohio. The police promised justice, truth, a grave
necessity, and isn’t it unfair that everywhere you go
you take your skin, your grief. Brown-eyed strangers,
streetlit survivors, did you know to be scared? The machine
passed the test we couldn’t, made them believe
it was human, and when we screamed I want
to live it was human enough to ignore us. Human enough
to take our voices into its maw. A data point: highly
suspicious. Bail forms, hearing dates, hollow gods.
How I looked past my window for the boy I watched
grow up and the bluebirds sang all their terrible
beautiful tones and I couldn’t find him, couldn’t find him.
Gaia Rajan lives in Andover, MA. She's the cofounder of the WOC Speak Reading Series, the Junior Journal Editor for Half Mystic, the Web Manager for Honey Literary, the Managing Editor of The Courant, and the Poetry Editor of Saffron Literary. Her work has previously appeared or is forthcoming in the Kenyon Review, Tinderbox Poetry, Muzzle Magazine, DIALOGIST, Split Lip Magazine, diode, and elsewhere. Her chapbook, Moth Funerals, is out now from Glass Poetry Press, and she is a National Student Poet semifinalist. You can find her online at @gaia_writes on Twitter. She's so happy you're here.
Art: Patricia Caspers