Issue 2, Wednesday, April 4, 2018
Whatever arguments may exist on one side or the other, any biological differences between men and women are irrelevant to the achievement of common societal goals and the proper functioning of today’s economic systems–for any male employee, entrepreneur, leader, there is a similarly qualified, skilled, and passionate woman.
Monthly Interview: Charlotte Stanton
This month we interviewed AI for Good advisor, director of the Silicon Valley office of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace as well as a fellow in Carnegie’s Technology and International Affairs Program, Charlotte Stanton, on how Artificial Intelligence can play a role in developing fairer societies.
What is your background and specialization?
My academic training is interdisciplinary. I have a masters in international relations from the University of Cape Town in South Africa and an interdisciplinary PhD from Stanford. My current work looks at the international implications of advanced technologies with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI).
What do you think are the biggest challenges that lie ahead in achieving gender equality?
The challenge depends on the geographic setting. In developed countries, qualified women are still too often passed over for leadership roles in both the public and private sectors. In many developing countries, women are still prevented from getting a basic education.
How do you think a technology and AI, can facilitate a solution for gender equality?
Even though AI can exacerbate human bias in certain contexts, it may have the potential to reduce bias in other contexts — if applied appropriately. Consider the example of a human HR representative reviewing applications as part of a hiring process. Human bias could lead the HR representative to favor male candidates over female candidates with the same qualifications. In theory, an AI-system could be trained to compare candidates based on their qualifications alone.
What do you think are the organizations and individuals that will help us achieve this goal?
One of the organizations I’m most excited about is AI4All, started by Fei-Fei Li and Melinda Gates. Its mission is to increase participation by under-represented groups, including women, in the development of AI systems. They are already working with some of the leading schools which are training the next generation of AI experts, including Carnegie Mellon, Stanford, Princeton, and UC Berkeley. AINow is another excellent non-profit, conducting research geared towards identifying and resolving instances of bias in AI systems.
What are some notable projects or specific steps right now that are important in eliminating gender inequality and are being achieved today?
One specific step that any organization, company, and individual can do is to scrutinize their decisions to determine whether gender bias may be playing a role.
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