Call for gender-inclusive AI at UNESCO’s Global Forum on Ethics of AI

Friday, February 9, 2024

Category: News

Bridging the Gap panel

At the invitation of UNESCO, Sara Ratner, Research Officer at the Department of Education, called for better representation of women in AI at the Global Forum on Ethics of AI on 6 February.

Sara, along with ten other AI experts, ministers and leaders, spoke at the “Bridging the Gap” panel discussion, which delved into the pressing issue of gender inequality in AI, where only 22% of AI professionals globally are female.

Sara has championed inclusive AI in the Department while working on the Learning for Families through Technology (LiFT) project. In her speech, Sara said: “I work on the LiFT team with a group of 8 other phenomenal women. As part of that research group, I have been leading the research on a collaborative AI research project with men and women from three global tech and industry partners.”

“The first step I took when we launched the project was to recognise my own privilege and inherent biases as a researcher. I addressed this by adding to the cognitive and cultural diversity to my team. Answering the call to participate were two fabulous women, both talented researchers – a specialist in the field from South Africa and another from Singapore. Instantly, our research team more closely reflected the geographic, linguistic and cultural diversity that is representative of the world we seek our research to impact.”

“For me, this choice was critical in ensuring that the work we are doing is more globally representative and aligned with the UNESCO ethical framework for AI that has formed the foundation of our work.”

Watch the panel discussion on YouTube, or read the transcript of Sara’s speech.