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.

Continue the conversation outside of workshops. Have a question? Need a recap? Want to offer your expertise and support? Use Slack to converse directly with teams, experts, Brain Trusts and facilitators during and after the designated workshops.

GLOBAL BRAIN TRUST: The AI for Good Brain Trust is composed of forward-looking individuals, innovators and thinkers who utilize their expertise in data and AI systems to help drive global initiatives in the areas of Gender Equity, Food Systems, and Pandemics. Brain Trust members help to identify potential breakthroughs in their respective domains, curate high-impact projects and facilitate connections between innovators and other global leaders.

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.

Founder & CEO

Caitlin Kraft-Buchman is CEO/Founder of Women at the Table, a growing global CSO based in Geneva, Switzerland – and the first organization to focus on systems change by helping feminists gain influence in sectors that have key structural impact: economy, democracy and governance, technology, and sustainability.
A serial coalition builder focused on impact, she is the founder of International Gender Champions (IGC) a leadership network of female & male decision-makers that breaks down gender barriers for system change. After four years it includes hubs in Geneva, New York, Vienna, Nairobi, The Hague, and most recently Paris, and counts 300+ Champion heads of organizations including the Secretary General of the UN, heads of the UNHCR, ICRC, IOM, IFRC, WTO, ILO, WHO, WIPO, ISO, ITU, Ambassadors, and Civil Society. As IGC Board Member she is also responsible for IGC’s Trade Impact Group (Buenos Aires Declaration on Trade and Women’s Economic Empowerment, 2017); Disarmament Impact Group (nominated for Arms Control Person/s of the Year, 2018); Standards Impact Group (Gender Responsive Standards Declaration, 2019); International Justice Impact Group (The Hague Principles on Sexual Violence, 2019).
Caitlin also founded and co-leads the new < A+ > Alliance for Inclusive Algorithms with Ciudadania Inteligente, a global coalition of technologists, activists and academics who focus on affirmative action for algorithms and creating gender equality, so that machine learning does not embed an already biased system into our future.

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.

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.

Executive Director of the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence
University of Cambridge

Dr Stephen Cave is Executive Director of the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence (CFI) at the University of Cambridge, UK, where he is also Senior Research Associate in the Faculty of Philosophy and Fellow of Hughes Hall. At CFI, he oversees a team of researchers across five programmes on the nature and impact of AI in the short and long term. His own research interests currently focus on the portrayal and ethics of intelligent machines. Previously, Stephen earned a PhD in philosophy from Cambridge, then joined the British Foreign Office, where he served as a policy advisor and diplomat. He is author of the book Immortality (Penguin Random House), a New Scientist book of the year, and co-editor of AI Narratives: A History of Imaginative Thinking About Intelligent Machines (OUP).

Warren Distinguished Professor of Computer Science Associate Provost, Faculty of Computing & Data Sciences Emeritus Founding Director, Hariri Institute for Computing
Boston University

Azer Bestavros is the Inaugural Associate Provost for the Faculty of Computing & Data Sciences at BU, a degree-granting academic unit with a mission to catalyze and integrate research and education programs in computing and data sciences across the landscape of disciplines at BU. Prior to taking on this leadership role in 2019, he was the Founding Director of the Hariri Institute for Computing, set up in 2010 to nucleate BU’s presence in computing and data sciences. Under his leadership, the Institute has become a landmark at the crossroads of computational research at BU, engaging over 250 researchers from 38 departments, and securing over $100M in external research funding for incubated projects. From 2000 to 2007, Azer chaired the CS Department in the College of Arts and Sciences, having joined it in 1991 after obtaining his PhD from Harvard University.

Praised by students for his engaging teaching style and his use of memorable analogies, Azer is recognized for his signature CS-350 course, which he developed in the mid-1990s and taught for over 25 years, covering fundamental concepts that are immune to technological churn and yet underlie the design and implementation of all types of computing systems. Specializing in distributed systems research, Azer made seminal contributions to many areas of CS, most recently focusing on privacy-preserving big-data analytics for social and public good applications. As of 2019, funded by over $49M from government and industry sponsors, his research yielded 19 PhD theses, 8 patents, 2 startups, and hundreds of refereed papers with over 20,000 citations.
Azer has a long track record of service to the computing community, most recently chairing the 2019 and co-chairing the 2014 Committee of Visitors charged by NSF to evaluate its CISE Directorate; serving on the inaugural advisory board of the congressional Cloud Computing Caucus set up in 2013 to raise public awareness on cloud technologies; and serving for seven years until 2012 as chair of the IEEE Computer Society TC on the Internet. Currently, he serves on the Advisory Committee of the CISE Directorate of the NSF and on the Editorial Board of the Communications of the ACM. He is frequently tapped for plenary presentations, federal and local government agency briefings, and media coverage related to contemporary issues at the nexus of computing, society, and public policy.

In recognition of distinguished teaching, research, and service, Azer received a number of awards, most notably the ACM Sigmetrics Inaugural Test of Time Award for 1996 work “whose impact is still felt 15 years after its initial publication” and the 2010 United Methodist Scholar Teacher Award for “outstanding dedication and contributions to the learning arts and to the institution.” In 2017, he was named a William Fairfield Warren Distinguished Professor, the highest distinction bestowed upon senior faculty members at BU.

Past events

The Future of Us, AI + Gender
05 May 2020

Breakthrough session addresses current gender issues in AI, including but not limited to algorithmic bias and data inclusivity. The goal of this session is to identify AI solutions that empower underrepresented communities and enable an equitable future for humanity.

AI Technologies to Achieve Gender Equity: A Call for Submissions
23 June 2020

As part of the AI for Good Gender Breakthrough Track, a team of forward-looking individuals known as the Gender Brain Trust are utilizing their expertise in data and AI systems to help drive global initiatives in the area of Gender Equity. Join the conversation and find out how you can participate in efforts to prevent a cycle of algorithmic bias and enable an equitable future for humanity.