A few months back, while preparing a workshop on gender stereotypes and biases, I came across research by the World Economic Forum suggesting a significant gender gap among AI professionals, with only 22% of AI professionals globally being female, compared to 78% being male. Perhaps I was expecting it, but I still found it not just disturbing; more than that. I thought it’s dangerous and I’ll explain why right away.
An algorithm that has been coded by humans, may reflect biases of the developers. If the data collected and used for the development of AI is gender biased, the results will also be biased, leading as a consequence to biased decisions in a number of fields, including for example hiring decisions.
And so I’d like to use this editorial as an opportunity to raise the attention of the business leaders and policy makers hosted in our pages to this simple fact: to avoid the replication of stereotypes and biases, and to enhance AI’s efficacy, we must urgently promote more diversity, including the participation of more women, in the development of AI.
Back to O/W. In the development of this edition we invited authors who share our vision that our world needs inspiration, passion and boldness for a better tomorrow.
This is why we invited the Transport Commissioner, Adina Valean, and the Greek Minister for Digital, Kyriakos Pierrakakis, to foreword this special edition. Mr Pierrakakis has inspired change and has helped his (our) country take unprecedented digital leaps forward, while Ms. Valean is no stranger to the readers of this magazine – she has repeatedly contributed her always inspiring thoughts to O/W editions over the years.
The topic of Artificial Intelligence can be divisive by nature; as are most things novel. With that in mind we are excited to be hosting representatives of the European Parliament’s Special Committee on Artificial Intelligence in a Digital Age (AIDA) from all political groups, except one* – including the AIDA Committee Chair and the European Parliament Rapporteur. EU Policy makers who, next to important business leaders, national policymakers and thinkers, contribute to what we see as an exciting debate on the present and future of our world.
Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!
*We made sure to invite Members of European Parliament from all political groups in order to foster a fair and balanced debate. Unfortunately, we didn’t receive a response from the GUE/NGL (European United Left) Member of AIDA, although our team called and followed up by email repeatedly.