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'Artificial intelligence reinforces gender inequality'

When collecting data, designers and researchers often assume men where all people are intended. This is not only inept, it is also dangerous.

Valerie Frissen

For example, cars are generally designed for men. The average crash dummy being 1.77 metres tall, weighing 76 kilos and with the muscle mass and spinal column of a male, according to an article in Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant

Women in business also get fewer opportunities than their male counterparts. Valerie Frissen, Extraordinary Professor Digital Technologies and Social Change, who contributed to the above article, says that women attract far fewer investments. 'Start-ups by women often don’t even make it to the table and if they are invited, investors ask them totally different questions. This is a worrying trend.'

The advance of artificial intelligence would appear to reinforce this inequality. Software for voice recognition, for example, was developed on the basis of a large voice recording database using predominantly male voices. 'In particular the inequality existing in medical data has always had a disastrous effect in terms of gender, but artificial intelligence is reinforcing this effect.

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