Posted on September 17, 2018

Robots Can Become ‘Racist And Sexist’ All on Their Own, Study Finds

Sean Keach, Fox News, September 13, 2018

A look at a new study that reveals how AI robots can independently develop prejudices like racism and sexism

Robots can develop prejudices like “racism and sexism” all on their own, a shocking new study has found.

Artificial intelligence experts performed thousands of simulations on robot brains, revealing how they split off into groups and treat “outsiders” differently.

Computer scientists and psychologists from Cardiff University and the USA’s MIT teamed up to test how robots identify each other.

But they also tested how they copy and learn behaviors from each other, too.

The study, published in Scientific Reports, showed that virtual simulated robots would shun others, forming their own groups.


It found that robots would donate to each other within small groups, denying outsiders to improve their own takings


“Our simulations show that prejudice is a powerful force of nature and through evolution, it can easily become incentivized in virtual populations, to the detriment of wider connectivity with others.”

The professor explained that the study even showed how “prejudicial groups” accidentally led to outsiders forming their own rival groups, “resulting in a fractured population”.


The study explained how learning these prejudicial behaviors didn’t require a lot of mental power.

Instead, it was simply a matter of copying others based on their “give and take” game success, which inevitably led to prejudice.

According to the scientists behind the project, it’s possible that once robots are widespread, they could pick up common human prejudices.