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Bias in a Biased System: Visual Perceptual Prejudice

Accepted version
Peer-reviewed

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Type

Book chapter

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Abstract

‘Bias’ can be used to describe a problematic kind of prejudice against a particular social group, but it can also be used more generally, and neutrally, to describe a process that is systematically weighted in some way. This chapter takes up the question of what distinguishes instances of “prejudicial” bias in the context of the visual system, a systematically, formally biased system. Is prejudicial bias marked out by a set of distinctive structural features that explain the epistemic problems intuitively associated with it, or is it distinguished only by the way in which its content concerns particular demographic categories? I take two bodies of recent empirical work as case studies, the “same race face effect”, and evidence and analysis of racial bias in first-person shooter tasks. After exploring and rejecting three possible criteria for demarcating instances of prejudicial bias, I identify a principled reason why standard epistemic criteria cannot accomplish the task. I instead propose an adoption of a skill-based model of visual perception that allows for multi-dimensional evaluation relative to a set of potentially competing goals.

Description

Title

Bias in a Biased System: Visual Perceptual Prejudice

Keywords

46 Information and Computing Sciences, 4611 Machine Learning, Eye Disease and Disorders of Vision, Basic Behavioral and Social Science, Behavioral and Social Science, Clinical Research

Is Part Of

Reason, Bias, and Inquiry: The Crossroads of Epistemology and Psychology

Book type

Publisher

Oxford University Press

ISBN

0197636918
9780197636916

Rights

All rights reserved