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We cannot trust AI to give us 'fairness' – yet we are beginning to treat computers as little gods

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Most people would probably agree that every bar customer has an equal right to be served. Is that something that AI can fix? Credit: Antonio Pagano /Alamy

It is not, at first glance, what you would call a miscarriage of justice. You’ve been waiting at a bar for over 10 minutes. All around you people are shouting for attention as the bartender glides back and forth, as capricious as a Greek god. You watch them bestow their favour on those who arrived long after you, chatting for what seems like an aeon. And you wonder: what makes them more deserving than you?

Small beer it may be, but this is a matter of justice – of the fair apportionment of goods, rights and privileges. Most people would probably agree that every bar customer has an equal right to be served. We would also agree that this right can be revoked for the under-age and the excessively...

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