AI will have harmful effects on the world if more women do not lead in the field: Women Leading in AI gather in London from all over the world to demand an end to discriminatory algorithms.

We are coding inequality, exclusion and chauvinism into Artificial Intelligence. It is time to step it up: if ungoverned, unaccountable and unchecked, we won’t see the amazing benefits of AI.

This is the stark message from the Women Leading in Artificial Intelligence global group which is calling for more women to take up lead positions in AI and machine learning, an industry well-known to be dominated by men.

Ivana Bartoletti, Women Leading in AI Co-Founder, said:

If the people working on artificial intelligence tools, products and services don’t resemble the society their inventions are supposed to transform, then that is not good Artificial Intelligence – and we shouldn’t have it.

Increasing diversity in AI needs to move from just talk to actually doing something about it – and this is not just about coding, it is also about the boardrooms where the decisions on AI are being made.

If these systems decide who can be hired, receive a loan or having a disease diagnosed, then bias can destroy one’s life.

The Women Leading in AI recommendations include:

  • Moving from 15% to 30% of women working in data science by 2025. Lack of women in AI is not biological but cultural so we demand a nation-wide campaign in secondary schools to start now;
  • The introduction of an assurance mark for companies to showcase to demonstrate that they have followed due process in their deployment of AI including recruiting a diverse team;
  • A ban of all men panel at tech events;
  • Audits of company practices with regards to hiring, retaining, sexism and whistleblowing procedures;
  • The requirement for diversity in teams to be mandatory in due process, audit frameworks and possible regulation governing AI.

Women Leading in Artificial Intelligence will take centre stage for a world first when leading, global experts in the field debate How Can We Trust AI? – Challenging The Unaccountable.

The event about artificial intelligence is the first of its kind in the world and will be held at London’s Microsoft Reactor on November 18.

The one day conference will look at how AI is re-shaping all elements of our society including:

  • Geopolitics and global governance
  • Work and labour
  • Privacy – in the age of predictive analytics and algorithms
  • Trust
  • Ethics
  • Law and Regulation

Hundreds of people have already booked for the event, with many more joining in remotely from around the world via a live stream.

Women Leading in AI Co-Founder Ivana Bartoletti, who will open the global gathering, said:

Artificial intelligence is everywhere and it can do some great things. But we are also waking up to the downsides: gendered virtual personal assistants, automated recruitment software turning down ideal candidates if they are female, sex robots that legitimise violence against women and AI-driven digital advertising that fuels populism and extremism – there is a lot that needs talking about.

I will be honoured to introduce so many leaders in their fields, from such a variety of disciplines, from across the globe at the How Can We Trust AI – Challenging The Unaccountable Conference.

The international list of speakers and delegates includes leading figures from the tech industry, international politics, academia, think tanks, the law and culture, activists, as well as MPs, who will all bring their voice to address this very urgent and important question for every citizen – How can we trust AI?

Speakers include:

  • World Economic Forum
  • European Council on Foreign Relations
  • Future of Humanity Institute
  • Privacy International
  • Oxford University
  • Open Data Institute
  • Ada Lovelace Institute
  • Human rights and equalities Barrister Schona Jolly QC

The event even includes an algorithmic and coding art exhibition.

The full timetable of speakers and sessions is at: womenleadinginai.org/challenging-the-unaccountable-how-can-we-trust-ai

Challenging the unaccountable: How can we trust AI?

The Women Leading in AI Network was founded in 2018 to put women front and centre in the political and economic battle around AI.

WLinAI Co-Founder Allison Gardner said:

Women make up just above 10 per cent of the AI workforce. That is wrong, but it is far from the only issue. The greater problem is that men still decide what AI is for, as they still dominate societies, the tech industry and individual organisations.

We are encouraging women to demand rules, regulation, standards and a trust mark demonstrating AI products are safe.

We are determined to make AI easier to understand. If we do not talk about it, male attitudes and male designed AI will dominate the world, and we will all lose out.

Sopra Steria’s Women’s Network is delighted to be sponsoring the Women Leading in AI event.

Louise O’Leary from the Sopra Steria’s Women’s Network said:

As technology continues to shape our world, we believe it is key that AI is developed and implemented without replicating the latent biases and underlying cultural inequalities related not only to gender, but to all of those under represented communities. We fully support the active discussion of how we can make AI a tool for a fairer and more representative future for all.

Science and technology union, Prospect is also sponsoring the Women Leading in AI conference.

Andrew Pakes, Research Director, at science and technology trade union Prospect, said:

The growing concern at the speed at which facial recognition software and other technologies are being adopted at work and in our communities are a symptom of how the public are being left out of the AI debate.

Nowhere is the risk of a digital divide greater than in the workplace where companies are rushing into automation and AI-based technologies with little thought about engaging or involving their workforce.

Ignoring workers in this debate is the sure-fire way to create an AI divide between winners and losers and to incubate a culture of distrust.

How Can We Trust Artificial Intelligence – Challenging The Unaccountable will be held on 18 November 2019 at the Microsoft Reactor, 70 Wilson St, Finsbury, London EC2A 2DB.

Issued by Kerry Sheehan PR on behalf of Women Leading in AI
https://womenleadinginai.org @wlinai

For more information contact the WLinAI press team:
Kerry Sheehan; 07932 583136; kerrysheehan@hotmail.com

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