Language models, like the ones that power chatbots and other AI systems, are trained on vast amounts of text data from the internet, books, and articles. A significant portion of this data originates from neurotypical individuals—those whose brain functions are considered typical. However, the need for AI neurodiversity and inclusivity raises important questions about the effectiveness and fairness of these models. What does this mean for the inclusivity of language technology? Here’s a simpler breakdown:

The Bias Toward Neurotypical Data

These models learn from what they see most, which is neurotypical language. This can make them better at understanding and mimicking the common ways most people think and communicate. However, it also means they might not be as good at grasping how neurodivergent people—those whose brains function differently—might express themselves.

Exclusion is a Real Risk

If a language model is mostly exposed to neurotypical ways of speaking, it might struggle to understand how someone who is neurodivergent communicates. For instance, idioms or slang could be confusing for someone on the autism spectrum, and the model might not recognize this confusion.

Not Everyone Feels Included

Because these models are trained on mostly one type of data, they might not work as well for everyone. It’s crucial to make sure that these AI technologies are accessible and useful to all kinds of people, including those who think differently.

There’s Room for Improvement

Realizing that there’s a bias is the first step toward making better AI. By training models on a more diverse set of texts, including those that reflect various ways of thinking and communicating, we can help make these models more versatile and useful for a broader audience.

Ethical Considerations Are Key

There’s been much discussion about AI’s fairness. It’s important to ensure that AI treats everyone equally, and we need to consider how these technologies might impact different people. Striving for fairness and inclusivity in AI is not just a technical challenge but a moral one, too.

In summary, while language models are powerful tools, they often mirror the most typical ways of thinking and talking. They’re not perfect and can inadvertently overlook the needs of neurodivergent people. It’s important for the future of AI to be as inclusive and fair as possible, recognizing and embracing a wide range of human diversity.