Breakthrough Days: Gender Equity

As artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning replace manual design and human oversight, society gains efficiency. However, the inputs used to determine these machine-made choices rely on flawed data that lacks critical information about female preferences, behaviors, and needs.

AI is learning gender bias from humans. Biased data leads to biased insights, biased algorithms, biased solutions and policies, and ultimately a biased world that is designed only to meet the needs of the few. However, if harnessed for good, AI and machine learning can create a future in which unbiased insights tell the story of all humanity —not just a subset of it.

Speakers, Panelists and Moderators

    IBM fellow, AI Ethics Global Leader, Distinguished Research Staff Member, Board Member
    Partnership on AI
    Francesca Rossi is a distinguished research scientist at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Centre and a professor of computer science at the University of Padova, Italy, with focus on artificial intelligence, specifically in constraint reasoning, preferences, multi-agent systems, computational social choice, and collective decision making. She is a AAAI, EurAI and Radcliffe 2015 fellow and has held posts as president of IJCAI and executive councilor of AAAI. She co-chairs the AAAI committee on AI and ethics and she is a member of the scientific advisory board of the Future of Life Institute. Francesca is also in the executive committee of the IEEE global initiative on ethical considerations on the development of autonomous and intelligent systems and she belongs to the World Economic Forum Council on AI and robotics. Watch the 'AI for Good' summit interview with Francesca Rossi here.
    CEO/Founder, Women at the Table and Co-Founder, Alliance for Inclusive Algorithms
    Caitlin Kraft-Buchman is CEO/Founder of Women at the Table, and Co-Founder of the Alliance for Inclusive Algorithms. The < A+ > Alliance, founded 2019, is a global coalition of technologists, activists and academics who champion Inclusive AI and Affirmative Action for Algorithms so that we come closer to creating gender and racial equality in a world where machine learning does not wire an already biased system into our future. Alliance are leaders of the Generation Equality Forum Action Coalition for Technology & Innovation. Women at the Table, founded 2015, is a growing, global gender equality & democracy CSO based in Geneva, Switzerland focused on advancing feminist systems change by using the prism of technology, innovation & AI, and exercising leverage points in technology, the economy, sustainability & democratic governance. Caitlin is also the co-founder of the International Gender Champions, founded 2015, based in Geneva with hubs in New York, Vienna, Nairobi, The Hague and Paris, a leadership network of female & male decision-makers that break down gender barriers for system change.
    Assistant Professor of Computer Science
    The George Washington University
    Aylin Caliskan is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at George Washington University. Her research interests include the emerging science of bias in artificial intelligence, fairness in machine learning, and privacy. Her work aims to characterize and quantify aspects of natural and artificial intelligence using a multitude of machine learning, language processing, and computer vision techniques. In her recent publication in Science, she demonstrated how semantics derived from language corpora contain human-like biases. Prior to that, she developed novel privacy attacks to de-anonymize programmers using code stylometry. Her presentations on both de-anonymization and bias in machine learning are the recipients of best talk awards. Her work on semi-automated anonymization of writing style furthermore received the Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium Best Paper Award. Her research has received extensive press coverage across the globe. Aylin holds a PhD in Computer Science from Drexel University and a Master of Science in Robotics from University of Pennsylvania. Before joining the faculty at George Washington University, she was a Postdoctoral Researcher and a Fellow at Princeton University's Center for Information Technology Policy.
    Technology Management Consultant
    Angel Investor
    Nicole Washington, M.S., has nearly 20 years of systems integration experience, including systems implementation, design and programming from her previous career with Ernst & Young, Whittman Hart and MarchFirst management consulting firms. She is the founder and owner of Micro Biz Coach®, a firm that focuses on educating business owners to leverage various aspects of internet technology in their operations in order to maximize efficiency and to effectively compete with larger businesses. Its clients have been featured on CNBC, Fox Business News, and a host of Clear Channel radio stations. Nicole was most recently engaged with Octane, a non-profit organization supported by partners that have a combined revenue of almost $200 billion and together they employ over 800,000 people. She has held two positions with this organization: Director of Innovation & Growth where she focused on creating an ecosystem to help high-growth companies scale and Senior Advisor of Community Engagement where she led philanthropic initiatives to make the Octane network more accessible to underrepresented groups. Nicole is also the founder of Nicole’s Naturals® Inc. (Est. 2014). Nicole’s Naturals is a gluten free food manufacturing company specializing in the development of gluten free grain products with the texture and taste of traditional gluten products. She is a member of the Angel Capital Association and the Ohio TechAngel Fund, the 2nd largest Angel Investor Network in the United States, where she served as the due diligence team technology lead for several years. Nicole has served on several boards including the Susan Samueli Integrative Health Institute and the Samueli Academy Board of Trustees.
    Principal Project Manager
    Haneen Khalaf comes to the XPRIZE Foundation with 4 years of experience in the hospitality industry and 2 years of experience in International Development. Ms. Khalaf draws on her experience in both client and nonprofit management to support the Adult Literacy XPRIZE as an Associate of Prize Development and Execution. Prior to joining XPRIZE, Ms. Khalaf worked and conducted research within extremely impoverished communities in both rural Uganda and Tanzania, providing business skills training and micro-finance opportunities to improve wellbeing and to end the cycle of poverty. Ms. Khalaf holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business/Tourism Management from Arizona State University and a Master’s in International Relations from Harvard University. Her thesis on happiness won the Dean’s Outstanding Thesis Award in International Relations. Haneen was born in Detroit, Michigan and has since lived all over the world, including Hawaii, Boston, Arizona, Uganda, and now California. Having traveled around the globe, she calls the world her playground. She enjoys spreading happiness, attending concerts, hiking, talking to strangers, and swimming with sharks in the ocean.
    Summer Fellow at the Center for Research on Computation and Society (CRCS), Harvard University
    Harvard University
    Sara Kingsley is a summer fellow at the Center for Research on Computation and Society (CRCS) at Harvard University, where she is advised by Dr. Rediet Abebe and Dr. Elena Glassman. Sara is also a PhD student in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), where she is advised by Dr. Chinmay Kulkarni. Sara’s research interests include critical machine learning, mechanism design for social good and digital discrimination. Her research introduces and builds on insights in HCI and ML as well as microeconomic theory and econometrics. She is particularly interested in applying her graduate training in labor economics to study online job, credit and data markets. Prior to her PhD, Sara worked in the administration of President Barack H. Obama as a congressional officer at the U.S. Department of Labor, and in the United States Senate for Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts. At CRCS, she is mentored by Rediet Abebe and Elena Glassman, and is working collaboratively with Ricardo Sandoval (Vanderbilt) to build a computational platform for social work.
    Assistant Professor, Department Management Science & Engineering, Stanford University
    Stanford University
    Irene Lo is an assistant professor in the department Management Science & Engineering at Stanford University. Her research is on designing matching markets, algorithms and assignment processes to improve outcomes for the historically underserved, with a focus on public sector and non-profit applications. She also co-organizes the Mechanism Design for Social Good research initiative. She was a postdoctoral fellow in economics at Stanford University, and obtained her Ph.D. from the IEOR department at Columbia University.
    Professor of Computer Science and a Co-Founder of the Computation and Society Initiative, Yale University
    Yale University
    Nisheeth Vishnoi is a Professor of Computer Science and a co-founder of the Computation and Society Initiative at Yale University. His research focuses on foundational problems in computer science, machine learning, and optimization. He is also broadly interested in understanding and addressing some of the key questions that arise in nature and society from a computational viewpoint. Here, his current focus is on natural algorithms, the emergence of intelligence, and algorithmic fairness. He was the recipient of the Best Paper Award at IEEE FOCS in 2005, the IBM Research Pat Goldberg Memorial Award in 2006, the Indian National Science Academy Young Scientist Award in 2011, the IIT Bombay Young Alumni Achievers Award in 2016, and the Best Technical Paper award at ACM FAT* in 2019. He was named an ACM Fellow in 2019. He holds a B. Tech., Computer Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, 1995-1999, Ph. D., Algorithms, Combinatorics and Optimization, Georgia Institute of Technology, 1999-2004.
    Postdoctoral Research Fellow & Leader of the Women in Data Science and AI project, The Alan Turing Institute
    The Alan Turing Institute
    Dr. Erin Lorelie Young is a postdoctoral research fellow at The Alan Turing Institute, leading the Women in Data Science and AI project within the Public Policy programme. She explores the gendered practices mediating the data science and AI fields, considering the political and socio-economic roots of the networks that shape, deploy and govern AI systems and their applications. Erin has a DPhil (PhD) in Education (Learning and Technology) from the University of Oxford, and a BA in Classics from the University of Cambridge. She has held positions as a consultant at the International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) at UNESCO in Paris, an H-STAR Visiting Researcher at Stanford University and a Research Assistant at the Oxford Internet Institute. Erin is interested in the social and ethical implications of technologies, particularly artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and other data-driven innovations, and her work draws from Science and Technology Studies (STS) and intersectional feminism.
    Technology Product Leader
    Deepika Devarajan is a technology product leader with a proven track record of driving growth by solving high value problems with disruptive innovation. She has over 19 years of experience in product management, marketing, and product development across startup and enterprise organizations. With graduate degrees in computer engineering and business administration, she has continuously transformed her career as a hardware, R&D and then software engineer, before joining the business ranks to lead marketing, partnerships and product. Most recently, Deepika led commercialization of the next generation of AI products at IBM. She has spoken at several conferences on topics related to AI, and cares deeply about responsible innovation and ethical applications of technology. A passionate STEM evangelist and advocate for women in technology and leadership, she is on the SWE Pittsburgh Executive Council serving as Co-chair for Outreach as she strives to make a bigger impact in her community.
    Chair, School of Interactive Computing, Georgia Tech; Founder and CTO, Zyrobotics
    Ayanna Howard, Ph.D. is the Linda J. and Mark C. Smith Professor and Chair of the School of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She also holds a faculty appointment in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and serves on the Board of Directors for the Partnership on AI and Autodesk. Dr. Howard’s career focus is on intelligent technologies that must adapt to and function within a human-centered world. Her work, which encompasses advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), assistive technologies, and robotics, has resulted in over 250 peer-reviewed publications in a number of projects - from healthcare robots in the home to AI-powered STEM apps for children with diverse learning needs. To date, her unique accomplishments have been highlighted through a number of awards and articles, including highlights in USA Today, Upscale, and TIME Magazine, as well as being recognized as one of the 23 most powerful women engineers in the world by Business Insider and one of the Top 50 U.S. Women in Tech by Forbes. In 2013, she also founded Zyrobotics, which develops STEM educational products to engage children of all abilities. Prior to Georgia Tech, Dr. Howard was a Senior Robotics Researcher and Deputy Manager in the Office of the Chief Scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She has also served as the Associate Director of Research for the Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines, Chair of the Robotics Ph.D. program, and the Associate Chair for Faculty Development in ECE at Georgia Tech.

Hourly Schedule

Tuesday 22 September

19:00 - 20:30
Day 1: Project presentations

Wednesday 23 September

19:00 - 20:30
Day 2: Prize-design workshop

Thursday 24 September

19:00 - 20:30
Day 3: Gathering resources/support
Principal Project Manager
As artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning replace manual design and human oversight, society gains efficiency. However, the inputs used to determine these machine-made choices rely on flawed data that lacks critical information about female preferences, behaviors, and needs. AI is learning gender bias from humans. Biased data leads to biased insights, biased algorithms, biased solutions and policies, and ultimately a biased world that is designed only to meet the needs of the few. However, if harnessed for good, AI and machine learning can create a future in which unbiased insights tell the story of all humanity —not just a subset of it.


22 Sep 2020 - 24 Sep 2020


CEST, Geneva
19:00 - 20:30



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