Access to Knowledge for Development Center, American University, Cairo
Professor Economics, American University in Cairo; Founding Director, Access to Knowledge for Development.
Digital tech, open data, AI, future of work & inclusive development in the Middle East & Africa.
About the work
I am interested in the invisibility and absence of women in the full AI chain – their invisibility as subjects of data and their absence as makers of algorithms (which is further exacerbated in cases when they are also absent from the policymaking process). Starting with data (what I call data blur, myopia & blindness) to algorithm design, all the way to policymaking, women are either underrepresented or absent altogether. Not surprisingly, this leads to skewed policymaking. A feminist voice is needed in this chain: starting from data to algorithms and policymaking. My focus is on the Middle East & Africa.
More inclusive policymaking that is cognizant of society’s members and responsive to its needs; better setting of the development agenda in a way that does not leave anyone behind; a better social contract that relies on fine-tuning safety net policies to mitigate inequality. I sit on the technical committee for the National Council drafting Egypt’s AI Strategy and the Committee of the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology revising Egypt’s innovation assessment. I wrote Egypt’s national strategy for adopting open source software announced by the government in 2014 and have had my research quoted in the decision to regulate ride sharing in Egypt in 2017.