The f<a+i>r network is dedicated to finding ways to make Artificial Intelligence and related technologies more effective, inclusive and transformational, not only more ‘efficient’.
Systemic gender, racial and intersectional bias sits at the core of current artificial intelligence & algorithmic decision-making processes created in the North, and then replicated in the South. Combatting and correcting this wired bias and discrimination is urgent in order that pro-social capabilities of Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Algorithmic Decision-Making (ADM) can be activated.
We can either seize this moment to correct bias in the digital realm, as we tackle bias in the analogue world, or condemn ourselves to old bias hardwired into the future century of Algorithmic Decision-Making trained by machine learning on biased data sets.
We believe it’s necessary to consider new systems
and new structures for the 21st century.
To springboard from well-established descriptions of ‘what’ potential harms in algorithms and machine learning exist to urgent focus on ‘how’ to course correct future harms with new data, algorithms, models, policies and systems can be researched and piloted for gender-transformative change.
f<A+I>r’s aim is to support the skill and imagination of Global South/the Majority World feminists in producing effective, innovative, interdisciplinary models that harness emerging technologies which correct for real life bias and barriers to women’s rights, representation and equality.
The f<A+I>r Global Network includes feminist technologists, academics and activists from Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East & North Africa, South East Asia, alongside sister African network Gender & Inclusion AI4D. It laso includes allies and thought leaders from around the world whose work is moving the conversation, the research, and the tech towards more humanist and feminist realities.
The Network now consists of 100+ feminist AI thinkers primarily from the Global South, with experience in machine learning, data science, law, urban planning, human rights, gender, anthropology, economics, and other social sciences.
Research funding and mentorship, over the 2021- 2024 period, to propel new feminist AI with 27 research papers funneling to 9 prototypes then 3 pilots. Each research cohort meets bi-weekly to share and build South-South knowledge. Each cycle has 2 specific Methodology & Evaluation papers.
f<A+I>r uses a combination of public and private bi-monthly regional Hub meetings, and bi-monthly Global meetings (in collaboration with sister network AI4D Gender & Inclusion Network Africa, funded by IDRC/SIDA) to foster network building, South-South knowledge and extend and deepen boundary partnerships.
<A+> Alliance with f<A+I>r have created the first online Global Directory to highlight and promote feminist doers, thinkers and their innovations from the Majority World f<a+i>r network and their innovations.
After reading the <A+> Alliance Call to Action, and its set of recommendations launched by Women at the Table, at a keynote for Women in Data Science Zürich, IDRC’s Networked Economies program seeded the groundwork for f<a+i>r, the Feminist AI Research Network.
f<A+I>r was launched in 2020 by Women at the Table, Ciudadania Inteligente and Gender at Work, with the help of IDRC. The main goal is to focus on the extraordinary work being done in the Global South, researching and reflecting on specific regional directions and needs for feminist AI.
In 2020, with the support of IDRC, the <A+> Alliance launched f<A+I>r, gathering a global cohort of eminent data, machine learning and computer scientists side by side with social scientists, economists, and activists to discuss how to construct AI systems that bring social programs and policies fit for the 21st century.
In order to catalyze critical multidisciplinary conversations, various thinkpieces have been commissioned, covering Feminist Research Methodology, Data Collection, Social Protection, Unbiased Algorithms, Norms, Culture, and Tech, among other topics. These and many more pieces can be found on our Feminist AI PubPub.
f<A+I>r is currently led by Women at the Table and Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica (TEC). The aim is to further engage with and connect researchers, academics and practitioners with perspectives from the global south and north, to deepen definitions and directions of a Feminist AI, explore current and emerging questions associated with AI from a feminist point of view, and to develop a research agenda for a more formal, ongoing Feminist AI Research Network.