It's time to reflect the breadth of humanity in AI

Phelim Bradley
|May 28, 2024

AI is rapidly changing the world. It’s integrating into our lives in so many incredible ways, from self-driving cars to healthcare diagnostics, algorithmic financial services to robot-augmented manufacturing.

This is a pivotal point in our history. A rapidly evolving technological landscape where integrity and data quality are paramount. It can’t be overstated how critical it is that these models reflect the breadth of humanity.

High-quality human data matters more than ever.

Our mission at Prolific is to revolutionize how the world learns about people, so people can revolutionize the world. We’re building the global human data platform that enables AI researchers and developers to train, refine, and perfect their models, benefiting from our unrivaled participant pool, seamless API integration, rigorous data quality assurance methodology, and more.

AI reflects the data it is trained on. That means it reflects the individuals who provide that data. At Prolific, our goal is to ensure AI is trained on data from as diverse a range of people as those who use it.

We need to tackle AI bias

AI systems learn from the data they’re trained on. So the quality and diversity of this data is critical.

Where data hasn’t been representative, it’s led to biased models that don’t serve all demographics fairly. We’ve seen facial recognition systems misidentify people of certain ethnicities and natural language tools struggle to understand diverse dialects and languages.

These biases have big ramifications. If training data or evaluations are biased, it perpetuates existing inequalities and introduces new forms of discrimination. That’s why it’s essential to train and evaluate AI models on data that reflects the full spectrum of human diversity—so those models are robust, accurate, and fair.

Diverse data matters

To benefit humanity, AI must reflect the breadth of humanity. Diverse data not only enhances generalization but also mitigates biases, leading to safer and more effective AI. It’s indispensable for:

  1. Enhanced generalization: Models trained on varied data can better generalize to new scenarios. This is vital for real-world applications.
  2. Bias mitigation: Diverse datasets are key to finding and addressing biases in training, which leads to fairer AI systems.
  3. Better user experience: AI systems that understand and cater to a global audience can deliver better, more personalized user experiences.

Training complex AI models is no small feat. Data needs are evolving fast, requiring specialized insights and diverse input to keep pace.

At Prolific, we work closely with some of the world’s leading AI researchers and developers. We understand their unique challenges and shape our capabilities to meet their needs. Today, five of the ten winners of OpenAI’s democratic inputs grant program rely on Prolific for their data needs.

By providing easy access to high-quality, ethically sourced, and diverse human data, we’re not just facilitating research. We’re laying the groundwork for a future where AI and human intelligence come together to solve some of the world's most pressing challenges.

The future of AI will be built on human insight

At the core of every innovation lies the most valuable asset of all—human insight. For AI researchers, this means that access to the highest-quality human data is crucial to develop complex AI models.

Prolific is uniquely equipped to meet these data needs, offering a unique combination of diversity and rigorous data quality:

  1. Access an unrivaled participant pool: Unlike our competitors’ so-called ‘millions’ of respondents, Prolific’s 150k participants are active and ready to respond. Insight from our domain-specific specialist experts helps reduce bias and improve accuracy. And if you can’t find who you need, you can BYOP - bring your own participants.
  2. Self serve, or connect to our API: Improve turnaround times thanks to a platform that’s easy to use and customizable to your requirements. Looking for further support for large-scale data collection efforts? Our API and seamless integrations help researchers run projects efficiently, focusing on what matters most - training and evaluating AI models.
  3. Benefit from the highest-quality data: We use stringent vetting processes and continuous monitoring to maintain high data quality, with cutting-edge tools dedicated to identifying and limiting the actions of bad actors. And our ethical data collection practices ensure that the data is reliable and ethically sourced.
  4. Work with an established, trusted partner: Over 35,000 researchers and 3,000 leading organizations trust us for their data collection. We have a proven track record of delivering high-quality data that meets the exacting standards of the AI research community.

By working with Prolific, AI researchers and leaders can ensure that the systems of tomorrow are built on a foundation of real, human data.

AI ethics and the path forward

AI’s rapid evolution brings some unique ethical points to consider.

The technical community knows how important it is to embed these considerations into AI models. After all, AI's success hinges on the trust and integrity of the data it’s built upon.

We ensure that our participants are treated ethically, their contributions are fairly compensated, and their data is used responsibly. We work with Partnership on AI—the body dedicated to supporting ethical development and use of AI for the benefit of society—and reflect Fairwork’s principles of fair work for online workers. This ethical approach is embedded in our platform, giving researchers confidence that the data they collect is high quality and ethically sourced.

By adhering to stringent ethical standards and refining our processes, we ensure that the insights derived from our platform are both reliable and responsible.

The time is now

Now is the time to act, embedding diversity and inclusivity into the core of AI development.

  • Increasing AI deployment: AI is becoming more integral to decision-making in areas such as healthcare, finance, and criminal justice. The stakes for fair and accurate models are higher than ever.
  • Technological advancements: Recent advances in AI offer an opportunity to address biases and enhance model fairness from the outset.
  • Ethical and regulatory momentum: Researchers, policymakers, and the public are increasingly aware of and demand ethical AI practices. This momentum provides a strong impetus for adopting more inclusive data practices.

Prolific was born out of a clear need. We'd identified a gap between the potential of groundbreaking research and the quality of available data. Addressing that gap became our mission - one that we’ve been pursuing for over a decade.

Our platform was designed for researchers, by researchers, to make connecting with diverse and verified participants easy and seamless.

Today, Prolific supports over 35,000 researchers across both academia and industry. Our participant pool spans over 38 countries, ensuring comprehensive diversity that helps AI models understand and respond to varied human experiences. This diversity, coupled with our rigorous data quality assurance, means you can trust the reliability and ethical sourcing of our data that powers your AI.

We invite AI researchers, leaders, and participants to join us in our mission. By partnering with Prolific, you’re not just accessing vital data—you’re contributing to a movement that celebrates innovation, values ethical considerations, and champions the highest standards of research.

Let’s shape the future of AI together.

Sign up for Prolific today and start revolutionizing your research with high-quality, human-powered data.