It’s also easy to discover the biases that have been built into speech recognition software. I once left my office for a meeting, locking the door behind me, and came back to find a stranger had broken in and typed a series of poetic sentences into my computer. Who was this person, and what did the message mean? After a few spooky, puzzling minutes, I realized that I had left my speech recognition software running, and the sentences were the guesses it had produced about what the rustling of the trees outside my window meant. But the fact that they were fairly intelligible English sentences reflected the biases of the software, which didn’t even consider the possibility that it was listening to the wind rather than a person.
– Bias is Always Bad by Tom Griffiths.
Edge 2014 question: What scientific idea is ready for retirement? From the book This Idea Must Die: Scientific Theories That Are Blocking Progress.