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What's the Problem, Linda? The Conjunction Fallacy as a Fairness Problem

by   Jose Alvarez Colmenares, et al.
Scuola Normale Superiore

The field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is focusing on creating automated decision-making (ADM) systems that operate as close as possible to human-like intelligence. This effort has pushed AI researchers into exploring cognitive fields like psychology. The work of Daniel Kahneman and the late Amos Tversky on biased human decision-making, including the study of the conjunction fallacy, has experienced a second revival because of this. Under the conjunction fallacy a human decision-maker will go against basic probability laws and rank as more likely a conjunction over one of its parts. It has been proven overtime through a set of experiments with the Linda Problem being the most famous one. Although this interdisciplinary effort is welcomed, we fear that AI researchers ignore the driving force behind the conjunction fallacy as captured by the Linda Problem: the fact that Linda must be stereotypically described as a woman. In this paper we revisit the Linda Problem and formulate it as a fairness problem. In doing so we introduce perception as a parameter of interest through the structural causal perception framework. Using an illustrative decision-making example, we showcase the proposed conceptual framework and its potential impact for developing fair ADM systems.


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