Women at the Table

The Tech We Need is the Women At The Table and the <A+> Alliance commitment to problem solving focused on how technology can measurably & positively impact social problems, improve quality of life, and correct for historic exclusion in  collaboration with Women & Youth Community Leaders. Our goal is to design & co-create needs-based, rights-based tech solutions, where women and youth community leaders own & maintain their solution to their problem in their own community.

We have been addressing our commitment to The Tech We Need through the paper, prototype and pilot methodology for < Incubating Feminist AI >.

To date, we have collaborated and supported the following projects:

AymurAI / Data Genero, Argentina

On Feminisms in Artificial Intelligence: Automation Tools Towards A Feminist Judiciary Reform in Argentina and Mexico

The lack of transparency in the judicial treatment of gender-based violence (GBV) against women and LGBTIQ+ people in Latin America result in low report levels, mistrust in the justice system, and thus, reduced access to justice. To address this pressing issue before GBV cases become feminicides, AymurAI in prototype and now in pilot with Buenos Aires Criminal Court 10 will open the data from legal rulings as a step towards a feminist judiciary reform. The project  identifies the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) models to generate and maintain anonymised datasets for understanding GBV, supporting policy making, and further fueling feminist collectives’ campaigns. 

Stage: 2023 Pilot in Buenos Aires

Read the full paper | See how the system works.

E.D.I.A / Via Libre, Argentina

A Tool to Overcome Technical Barriers for Bias Assessment in Human Language Technologies

Democratizing NLP, this tool seeks to lower the barrier for experts and citizens to  explore Latin American language model and debias the results.

There are currently many tools and techniques to detect and mitigate biases in word embeddings, but they present many barriers for the engagement of people without technical skills. As it happens, most of the experts in bias, either social scientists or people with deep knowledge of the context where bias is harmful, do not have such skills, and they cannot engage in the processes of bias detection because of the technical barriers.

This tool  is specially aimed to lower the technical barriers and provide  exploration power to address the requirements of experts, scientists and people in general who are willing to audit these technologies.

Paper has been selected (and won  scholarship) to present December 2022 in Abu Dhabi at WiNLP (Widening Natural Language Processing) which promotes ideas and voices of underrepresented groups in Natural Language Processing (NLP). Project will also be published in the prestigious Journal of ACL (Association for Computational Linguistics).

Stage: Paper to prototype

Read the full paper | Listen to the project explained in Spanish | Watch the prototype presentation

Towards a Feminist Framework for AI Development: From Principles to Practice / Derechos Digitales, Chile

A practical approach, with a feminist perspective and located in Latin America, to the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) asking if  it is possible to develop AI that does not reproduce logics of oppression.  

Workshops will explore deepening of the basic guide of questions from the initial paper, and practices for development with projects actively in development.

Stage: Paper to Workshopping phase

Read the full paper  | Short Explainer

SafeHER / De La Salle University-Manila (DLSU), Social Development Research  Center, Philippines

AI-(Em)powered Mobility of Women– Socio-cultural, Psychological, Personal, and Spatial Factors to Urban Transit Safety: Informing AI-Driven Filipino Women Safety Apps.

Manila has one of the most dangerous transport systems in the world for women due to harrassment, and sexual assault. AI can be used to mitigate and supplement the efforts to make transit safer for women – providing an avenue to contact authorities, get in touch with their emergency contacts and be alerted about unsafe areas or modes of transportation. 

The initial study conducted by DeLaSalle University in the Philippines is informed by feminist theories, sociology, anthropology and psychology. It factors in social, cultural, personal, psychological and spatial factors in the development of AI driven apps. The lack of women’s involvement in urban planning has resulted in public spaces, including public transportation, that do not adequately address women’s needs. To ensure that women’s needs are taken into account, participatory approaches are essential in both general urban transit planning and the development of initiatives that prioritize women’s safety during their daily journeys. This prototype aims to promote the participation of women in the planning and development of systems that enhance their safety. It consists of two parts: an exploration of the perspectives of women, transit operators, and local government authorities, as well as a review of existing AI-driven safety apps, insights from app designers and developers, and the presentation of a concept for an AI-driven safety app specifically for Filipino women.

The prototype SafeHer integrates defensive functions, the cooperation of local transit authorities and government units and makes perpetrators accountable for their crimes. The app includes a reporting system, an alarm system, and a notification page which would include reported incidents within the user’s vicinity..

Read more about the project here

Stage: Prototype due Fall 2023

Short Explainer | Read the full paper | Watch the paper presentation

SOF+IA / Fundación Datos Protegidos & ODEGI, Observatorio de Estadísiticas de Género e Interseccionalidad de Chile, Chile

AI Tool for Digital Gendered Violence: Development of a feminist chatbot and alert, monitoring and response system on gender-based digital violence in Chile.

This project aims to develop two solutions based on AI applied to monitoring, response and systematization in situations of Digital Gendered Violence,

1. Feminist chatbot to receive complaints of cases of digital gender violence, especially digital harassment on social networking platforms to deliver information and guide in the filing of complaints and legal-psychological support with Chilean civil society organizations

2. Automated algorithm that identifies situations of hate attacks against women on the twitter platform, raise alerts in order to identify biases that exist on this platform. Once an alert is generated, an automated suggestion of access to the feminist chatbot is generated.

Short Explainer | Read the full paper | Watch the paper presentation

La Independiente / PIT Policy Lab ,Mexico

Mainstreaming Gender Perspective in AI Crowd Work in the Global South: Diagnostic, policy recommendations and smart tools for women’s empowerment 

How can AI Crowd work become more feminist and fair?

Algorithms depend on labeled data for functionality, often sourced from crowd workers. Yet, their well-being is overlooked, especially in the case of Latin American and Caribbean women who rely on crowd work for income. Existing studies neglect their growth and experiences, lacking a gender-balanced perspective. Establishing a supportive space for crowd workers to share knowledge is essential, driven by transparency, fair pay, and advancement opportunities in tools, as advocated by practitioners. Documenting experiences aids individuals and collective improvement, fostering advocacy for respect and equity.

A forthcoming prototype, expected by September 2023, aims to empower female crowd workers through an intelligent conversational agent. This agent, reflecting Latin American heroines, aids communication, advice-seeking, and platform navigation. Simultaneously, PIT Policy plans a feminist design forum involving crowd workers, experts, and platforms to address challenges faced by AI crowd workers, especially in Latin America. The focus is on inclusivity and equity, carving a path for positive changes in this domain.

Short Explainer | Read the full paper | Watch the paper presentation

Design of Data Science Projects for Inclusive Data Policies / GobLab UAI + University of Rosario, Chile + Argentina

The proposal aims to reformulate a model of data science projects for public officials based on feminist criteria. The process will include validation workshops with officials, researchers, and activists, and will focus on dimensions such as Data Justice, intersectionality, design, and environmental justice. The final publication will include the research-action itinerary and will focus on the visibility of primary inequities in the design plan of public policy projects. The reformulation will also lead to the development of a protocol for evaluation and civic monitoring of automated public policies, including the use of plain language practices and visual thinking to make the process more accessible to stakeholders and people affected by automation. The proposal will also include a prototype of project formulation and evaluation methodology to be applied to real problems in the public sector in partnership with public organizations and activists in the region.

Short Explainer | Read the full paper

VR as learning assistant system for impaired women / Mahidol University , Thailand

Discussing  concepts of impairment and disability, creating an outline of a Virtual Reality simulation which can be a learning assist system for impaired persons implemented as a therapeutic tool to enhance learning ability, and understanding of the world for living in a society.

Short Explainer | Read the full paper | Watch the paper presentation

Conversational agent to support worthy exercise of interpretation in indigenous languages in the legal field / Tecnovation,Mexico

In Mexico, there is a legal framework that guarantees language speakers access to interpretation in legal processes, however, there are no conditions for the full exercise of this right. Interpreters,  key actors, face adverse conditions such as racism, gender discrimination and violence; as well as lack of timely payments for services from official bodies. These translation services are fundamental to achieving any justice in the courts for indigenous speaking women. 

Workshops with translators, and subsequent prototype outline for systems workflow to help to indigenous interpreters in the Mexican judicial system will be produced. 

Short Explainer | Read the full paper | Read the full paper in Spanish | Watch the paper presentation

Upcoming papers

Our third cohort are eagerly anticipating papers from the following in fall 2023:

  • Feminist NLP: An Annotated Corpus to Evaluate Sex Differences in Work Related Diseases in Chile / University of Chile, Chile.
  • Community Perspectives of AI in Natural Resource Governance / Tecnicas Rudas, Mexico.  
  • Analyzing Public Procurement Anomalies in Ecuador with a Gender Perspective  / DataLat, Ecuador.
  •  Compost engineers and their slow knowledge / Coding Rights, Brazil.
  • Explainable AI-Based Tutoring System for Upper Egypt Community Schools / IdeasGym, Egypt.
  • Reimagining Automated Violence Interventions through Participatory Technology Design Feminist AI / Point of View & Digital Futures Lab, India.
  • Exploring the potential for responsible Automated Decision Making to improve accuracy and correct for bias in financial credit scoring by Microfinance Institutions in Jordan / Expectation State / Jordan.

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