We do care what our children learn, but we do not care yet about what our robots learn from. One key idea behind trustworthy AI is that you verify what data sources your machine learning algorithms can learn from. As we have emphasised in our forthcoming academic paper and in our experiments, one key problem that goes wrong when you see too few small country artists, or too few womxn in the charts is that the big tech recommendation systems and other autonomous systems are learning from historically biased or patchy data.
In complex systems there are hardly ever singular causes that explain undesired outcomes; in the case of algorithmic bias in music streaming, there is no single bullet that eliminates women from charts or makes Slovak or Estonian language content less valuable than that in English.
At last, Reprex has its own company website, leaving the two flagship project sites, the Demo Music Observatory and the Listen Local separate. We are back to blogging after a particularly difficult lockdown period.
We needed a database of Slovak music to show how that national repertoire is seen by media and streaming platforms, how can we give it greater visibility in radio and streaming platforms, and what are the specific problems why certain artists and music is almost invisible.
Regulating black box, private algorithms and data monopolies is only a first step to damage control. Deploying white, transparent algorithms and building collaborative or open data pools can only guarantee fairness in the digital platforms, in recommendations, and generally in the use of AI.
The problem of the music industry is not too little, but too much data. Music is drowning in numbers, and it has too little resources to turn much data into valuable information. We have shown that we open collaboration is the key to success.