Our Questions

Our Questions

Building a research agenda, we are interested in mitigating potential and real harm, as well as identifying innovations and opportunities to advance a feminist agenda using AI.

We are interested particularly in how Automated Decision-Making systems (ADM) in developing countries function to inhibit rights and amplify unequal power relations, and how AI and ADM can be harnessed to deliver equality outcomes and new opportunities. How can feminist methodologies and approaches be applied when developing AI systems? How can AI innovation and social systems innovation be catalyzed concomitantly and create positive movement for social change larger than the sum of the data science or social science parts.

Preliminary topics

Feminist research

  • What would feminist research methodologies look like in AI?
  • How can feminist methodologies result in different approaches to AI in developing countries? What questions would emerge, who would now be included, how would they be engaged, with what epistemologies?
  • How could this methodology influence the knowledge that was developed?

Data Collection

  • Where does traditional data collection go wrong? From a feminist point of view, what would inclusive data collection look like Before, During, After data is gathered?
  • What would be a methodology to create this? How could governments (and other actors) ensure/facilitate?

Social Protections

  • How do social protections work in the developing world? And which ones specifically affect women and girls?
  • How is bias mitigated or amplified by underlying social protection assumptions, or development aid assumptions and in AI / Automated Decision-Making systems?
  • What would an ADM social protection system look like if designed with a feminist perspective?
  • What are private sector uses of ADM in developing country contexts that are discriminatory/biased?

Cultural Norms

  • What are the combinations of norms, history, and procedure that perpetuate ways of working and that have led to amplification of existing inequalities?
  • How do these norms constrain or promote patterns of behaviour in communities/organizations generally, and AI / tech organizations specifically?
  • What are the forces and environments necessary for norm change for AI sector outcomes, and the AI sector itself?
  • How can the dynamics of norm change be incorporated into a feminist agenda for AI?

Focused exploration on the question of 
how change happens:

  • Multidisciplinary conversation and collaboration

  • Inclusive Data Collection and use

  • Design approaches

  • Technical fixes

  • Policy, recourse, regulation

  • Institutional change, norm and organizational change

  • Mobilization and activism

Beginning with a start-up understanding of what we mean by a “feminist approach”:

  • Focus on power relations

  • Rights of women, poor and other marginalized groups

  • Inclusion

  • Focus on the change as well as descriptions Challenging patriarchal assumptions underpinning standard research methodologies about what is knowledge and how it is generated


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