Aurora50 reveals new campaign to 'fix' the gender bias in AI

The social enterprise company revealed the "Fixing the bAIs" initiative on November 9 at the Inclusion Summit held in Abu Dhabi

Diana Wilde, co-founder Aurora50, speaks at the two-day Inclusion Summit held on November 9, in Abu Dhabi. Photo: Inclusion Summit
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Social enterprise company Aurora50 has launched a new campaign to address the gender bias that exists in artificial intelligence systems.

The company revealed the “Fixing the bAIs” initiative on Thursday at the Inclusion Summit held in Abu Dhabi.

The campaign underscores the underrepresentation of women in the data sets used to train AI, resulting in AI systems that are biased against women and that perpetuate gender inequality.

“It's a very visual representation of what's wrong … the challenge is that AI is learning from us and we have unconscious biases, so when these algorithms are learning from us, they are also bringing those biases into AI … It's really important that we challenge that,” Diana Wilde, co-founder of Aurora50, told The National on the sidelines of the event.

The project has set out to fix AI's gender bias using AI tools.

The initiative has created a significant image bank of women in various professions using image-generating AI tools.

The goal is to populate data sets that have public images with photos of women that are properly tagged to teach AI that women can be engineers, chief executives, astronauts, scientists and more. It will also teach AI that men can work in professions like nursing.

“A visual representation like this makes systemic issues and the unconscious bias very easy to understand, that's why it's such a good tool,” she said.

The issue of visual representation of gender equality was presented during the Inclusion Summit.

The UAE manufacturing industry said they are joining forces to find ways to increase the participation of women in the workplace within the traditionally male-dominated sector.

Under the new “Challenger Programme”, Emirates Global Aluminium has brought Adnoc, Ducab, Emirates Steel Arkan, Siemens, Strata Manufacturing, Taqa and TechnipFMC to promote gender diversity across the industrial sector.

The programme is in partnership with social enterprise Aurora50 and under the patronage of the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation.

Women around the world will not achieve equality with men for 131 years – by the year 2154 – with only tepid progress on persistently large gender gaps, according to the Global Gender Gap Report 2023 released by the World Economic Forum in June.

The report shows that 146 countries have closed 68.4 per cent of the gender gap, up just 0.3 percentage points compared with the previous report.

The slow progress “creates an urgent case for renewed and concerted action”, Saadia Zahidi, managing director at the World Economic Forum, said at the time.

Updated: November 09, 2023, 4:55 PM