Twitter Offers ‘Bug Bounty’ Contest For AI Biases

Twitter has launched a contest to lure developers to help it find biases in the algorithm that automatically crops images on the service, following in the spirit of a common practice in the computer security industry.

Software firms commonly offer “bug bounties” to those who discover security flaws in their code, and Twitter said it is looking to create a similar incentive with prizes of up to $3,500 (£2,500).

The company said in a blog post announcing the scheme that it is looking for ways of identifying “unintended ethical harms” in the algorithm, after a group of researchers previously found it tended to exclude Black people and men.

Algorithmic bias

The algorithm is intended to display previews of the most relevant portion of an image in a Twitter feed.

Technology companies have increasingly looked for ways to ensure the artificial intelligence systems they use behave in ethical ways, amidst concerns over the growing role of AI, algorithms and other automated systems in communications and society.

In May Twitter made the code for its image-cropping algorithm available to outside researchers.

“We want to take this work a step further by inviting and incentivising the community to help identify potential harms of this algorithm beyond what we identified ourselves,” the company said.

It said it was “inspired” by the way researchers and hackers help the security field establish best practices for identifying and mitigating vulnerabilities to protect the public.

“We want to cultivate a similar community, focused on ML ethics,” Twitter said.

The company said it wanted to set a precedent for “proactive and collective identification of algorithmic harms”.

Cash prizes

It is re-sharing its image cropping model and code and is asking participants in the contest to build their own assessments.

The contest will be conducted through the HackerOne platform, with a panel of judges evaluating entries.

Aside from three top prizes of $3,500, $1,000 and $500 the contest will issue $1,000 prizes for the two entries found most innovative and most generally applicable across different types of algorithms.

The contest is currently open and winners are to be announced on 8 August at the Twitter-hosted AI Village workshop, part of the annual DEF CON security conference in Las Vegas.

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

Recent Posts

Hacker Group Linked To China Compromising Global Telecom Networks

Warning from security experts CrowdStrike that 'LightBasin' hackers are burrowing into telephone networks around the…

6 hours ago

Bill Gates Advised To End Emails With Female Staffer, WSJ Alleges

Microsoft executives advised Bill Gates to end email correspondence with a female employee in 2008…

9 hours ago

Apple Adds Notch To New MacBook Pro

Why, why? Apple takes a leaf out of 2017's iPhone X design, and opts to…

10 hours ago

CMA Competition Probe Into Music Streaming Market

British competition watchdog announces investigation into music streaming market, and issues recommendations for anti-virus industry

12 hours ago

Qubits Are Coming: Your Quantum Computing Future

As investment in the development of practical quantum computers and with key breakthroughs in this…

14 hours ago

Hacker Steals Government Database Of All Argentine Citizens

Argentine government database containing ID card data of all citizens has been stolen by a…

14 hours ago