AI for equality - Deep talk

Alliance co-leader and CEO / Founder of Women at the Table, Caitlin Kraft-Buchman was delighted to be invited to speak at the H22 Summit – The making of A Smarter City on 5 November in Helsingborg, Sweden. Doing a break out AI for equality - deep talk interviewed by Aurore Belfrage. The focus was on how a Smart City links to bias in AI and what can be done, if databases are biased and skewed, algorithms learn from databases, and machine learning is trained on the algorithms so that the bias is baked in so deeply it cannot be baked out..

H22 provided a unique opportunity to initiate and test cutting edge ideas in making a smarter city. Cities are critical laboratories for democracy, locations for societal progress and innovation, as well engines of economic growth. Citizen co-creation, galvanizing 21st century cities that have gender equality, climate change resilience, and democratic values at their core of creativity and governance is what Women at the Table call a Smart Feminist City.

Smart Feminist Cities offer an opportunity to close the gap between visions of equality for women and the cities we live in now – uniting SDG 11 to “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” with SDG5’s ambition to “achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”.

However, as the world is being reshaped by technology and our cities reshaped along with it, old biases are being baked into new technology sets. That is, with the increasing use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Automated-Decision Making (ADM) in the design and distribution of services by cities, implicit stereotypes and unconscious bias being stripped from the analog world are being entrenched into the digital world increasingly used by cities.

We need structural and systemic inclusion of a gender lens in community decision-making and budgeting and to incorporate a gender lens into the climate justice and climate change movements. Most importantly, inclusive algorithms are needed for a free, feminist and inclusive digital future. In order to innovate and thrive in a rapidly changing global environment, new norms are needed. We need accountability, inclusion and cooperation if we want to rescript bias and create a proactive agenda. We must seize the moment to advance the values of equality we have long embraced, and correct for the visibility, quality and influence of women proportionate to the population. Join the Alliance.