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Incubating Feminist AI: MENA f<a+i>r Hub’s First Network Meeting
14 December, 2022
Speakers: Soraj Hongladarom, Caitlin Kraft-Buchman, Nadine Moawad, Nagla Rizk and Amira Salah-
Moderator: Nadine Weheba
Date: Wednesday, Dec 14th 2022
The first Middle East and North Africa (MENA) f<a+i>r Hub’s network meeting was held on Wednesday
14th Dec 2022 at 3.30pm Cairo local time via Zoom. The Access to Knowledge for Development Center
(A2K4D) at the American University in Cairo, School of Business introduced the f<a+i>r Hubs Network
and brought together key stakeholders in MENA in an action-oriented conversation on how new
technologies such as AI can be harnessed to address MENA’s most pressing developmental problems
with focus on gender inclusion.
Key issues discussed:
Digital and analogue divides are intertwined and can be exacerbated by AI.
Feminists need to invest their efforts in proactively creating the future that we want to live in rather than just reacting.
AI can play a role in promoting awareness of the way technology can be intertwined with socioeconomic problems and can be utilized for achieving equality and justice.
What is coming for humanity is impossible to predict, but it is necessary to try all approaches to ensure the future is fair for women.
There are high level plans on investing in AI for smart cities, pensions, healthcare etc. in the region and in Egypt in particular however there are not enough women or youth present at these tables. No one is currently looking at AI with a feminist lens.
There is a huge disconnect between those working in feminist spaces and those working in tech. We need to bring both groups together to share knowledge and have discussions. We also need to include major stakeholders involved in decision and policy making
There is an urgent need to build an open data platform that hosts data sets from the MENA region to produce AI models for the MENA region instead of relying on tech produced by the West.