ELI5: Explain Like I'm 5

algorithmic bia

Okay kiddo, let me tell you what algorithmic bias means. You know how sometimes when you play a game or solve a puzzle, you might accidentally make a mistake and get your answer wrong? Well, sometimes computer programs that use algorithms can also make mistakes in similar ways, but these mistakes can be even bigger than just getting one answer wrong.

When people write computer programs, they often use rules and patterns to help the program make decisions. This is called an algorithm. But sometimes these rules and patterns can accidentally treat different groups of people unfairly. For example, let's say a computer program was designed to help pick out the best candidate for a job. If that program was only taught to think certain types of people were good candidates, then it might make unfair choices that only benefit those certain types of people.

This is called algorithmic bias - it's when a computer program's rules and patterns treat certain groups unfairly. And because these programs can be used for important things like giving out loans, deciding who goes to jail, or even treating diseases, it's really important that we try to spot and fix algorithmic bias whenever we can.