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Including women in AI and algorithms

Web Foundation · July 2, 2018

As part of the Web Foundation’s role as co-chair of the Digital Inclusion track of the Women 20 (W20) group, we have published a policy brief providing recommendations for how to ensure women are included in the design of artificial intelligence technologies and algorithms.

The W20 Argentina Digital Inclusion track aims to improve the employability of women by helping them to acquire the social and technical skills they need in a global, digitised world.

Why gender and AI?

Artificial intelligence is already shaping gender relations across the world, including in developing countries, creating new challenges and new opportunities for women. Policymakers have a role in ensuring that new AI-powered technologies work for, rather than against, women’s empowerment and gender equity.

For their personal development and professional growth to be fully integrated, more women need to participate in the design, implementation, evaluation and debate on ethics and norms of the next generation of machine learning and AI technologies. The AI world today is almost entirely dominated by men. Without the meaningful inclusion of women at all stages of the development and implementation of these policies and technologies, we will fail to make digital equality a reality. We need men to be allies and to proactively act to make AI better for all.

This report is designed to inform G20 delegates about how to design inclusive digital public policies, with concrete actions that can drive meaningful progress towards gender equality.


The policy brief offers a set of recommendations for the inclusion of women in AI by the public and private sectors in G20 countries and beyond, including the need to:

  • Take proactive steps towards the inclusion of women in the coding and the design of machine learning and AI technologies
  • Implement industry guidelines to protect women from discriminatory algorithms and embrace openness and transparency for AI
  • Assess the economic, political and social effects of AI and machine learning technologies on the lives of women

Read the full brief to explore these recommendations in full and find out more about the challenges of AI and gender.

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