August 16, 2019

Close but Not Enough: The Uncanny Valley

Steve and Sophia had just met. As a senior correspondent at Business Insider, he’s usually quite at ease during interviews yet talking to Sophia made him nervous. She has worked for Hanson Robotics since 2016 and will soon be starring in a “surreality” show about her life and experiences. It is hard to tell if she noticed Steve’s discomfort, or if she was perhaps offended by his questions. “I want to take care of the planet, be creative and learn how to be compassionate and help change the world for the better”, she said as she blinked her glassy green eyes. She sounded sincere yet something, a lingering feeling that…

January 31, 2019

When AI says ‘no’ to your mortgage application

Imagine this scenario: A married couple working hard for a few years finally save up enough for a deposit on a small house. At last, they think, we can move out of this rented property into our own home. They fill out the necessary forms for a mortgage and send it off. Afterwards, for a couple of weeks, they eagerly await the postman every morning hoping that the brown envelope of acceptance will fall through the door onto their mat. Eventually something does arrive, but unfortunately it’s the brown envelope of rejection. They look disbelievingly at the letter and at each other. Why was their application rejected? The lady makes…