Women in AI making technology work for society

Speaking alongside Dame Wendy Hall, University of Southampton; Jacquelyn Krones, Microsoft; Beena Ammanath, Deloitte Consulting; Mia Dand, Lighthouse3; and with Jeanette Winterson at an event bringing together 100+ Brilliant Women in AI and Ethics, 5Rights’ Founder and Chair, Baroness Beeban Kidron, has called for autonomous and intelligent systems to be designed and deployed with the rights and needs of children in mind.

The event, organised by Orbit (the Observatory for Responsible Research and Innovation in ICT) saw women from all over the world, working in sectors that spanned industry, professional services, academia, policy and civil society, discuss how future artificial intelligence could work with, and for, society.

The conference took place at Oxford’s Lady Margaret Hall, the first women’s college at Oxford, and alma mater to some of the UK’s greatest female scientists. The day commenced with an introduction from Professor Marina Jirotka, Investigator at Orbit and Professor of Human Centred Computing at Oxford. Participants attended workshops on algorithms and society; the world of work; data and decision-making; and AI and global governance. The sessions sought to answer one core question: *In the best of all possible worlds, where would we want to get to with artificial intelligence? *

Highlighting how children are a huge, but often forgotten, segment of the world’s internet users, Baroness Kidron said:

If algorithms are ‘opinions embedded in code’ then the opinion that says children have the right to a childhood must be coded in.

“No system will ever protect all children at all times from risks and transgressions – accidental or intentional. But a system that refuses to acknowledge their presence takes away their childhood altogether.

“The world has just short of a billion children online. Those billion children have a right to be more than clickbait toiling in the fields of Silicon Valley. It is up to all of us to advocate for this right and to fulfil the founders’ vision of a better digital world.”

Orbit will publish biographies for all 100 women and their particular areas of interest, to create a reference source that can be used for further collaborations and projects. For further outputs from the event, please visit Orbit’s website.