The Future of Gender Equality with Artificial Intelligence

This is an opinion piece. The views or opinions expressed in this blog are those of the guest blogger and do not necessarily reflect those of C Minds.

Author: Analisa Ruiz, Projects Intern at C Minds and Student of Economics, Urban Studies, African and African Diaspora Studies at The University of Texas at Austin

In an effort to improve diversity, Amazon developed an Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithm that was meant to select the most qualified candidates for various jobs. However, in the end it only perpetuated the biased standard that has historically oppressed women. It was not the algorithm itself that was biased, but the data it had been fed. Simply put, garbage in, garbage out. Because Amazon’s hiring practices had favored men in the past, the algorithm learned to repeat this pattern, using gender indicators on resumes to discount qualified female candidates. Amazon has clarified that this algorithm was only ever used in trials, and has since been abandoned for a number of different reasons.

(This is not the first time AI has reflected human bias, for more information see ProPublica’s article on how machines replicated racial discrimination.)

AI learns through data, and up until now the data in employment is largely dominated by men. In 2017, women in made up only