Women Reclaiming AI – Bath Spa University

Addressing the lack of diversity in the development work of AI

Woman Reclaiming AI is a practice-as-research project co-led by Coral Manton. The research addresses the lack of diversity in the development work of AI by using participatory workshops and art installations to ‘reclaim’ conversational AI systems as a medium for social justice.

About the project

The project aims to rewrite the cultural myths of AI by developing a new feminist AI voice assistant that critiques the commercial pursuit of today’s humanising AI technologies, while challenging the bias and stereotyping influence embedded within these technologies.

Woman Reclaiming AI is an expanding activist art-work, presented as a feminist AI voice assistant, programmed through participatory workshops by a growing community of self-identifying women (transgender, intersex and cisgender) and all nonbinary, agender and gender variant people. Through creating a platform for collective writing and editing, the project co-creates an AI that challenges gender roles.

It is a response to the pervasive depiction of AI voice assistants gendered as women, subordinate and serving. Designed by development teams which lack diversity these systems are embedded with unrepresentative worldviews and stereotyping which reinforce traditional gender roles.

The project outcomes

The project aims to reclaim female voices in the development of future AI systems by empowering self-identifying women to harness conversational AI as a medium for protest. The art-work consists of the collectively designed voice assistant and an evolving alternative visual representation of women through the use of a GAN (generative adversarial network) (as displayed at the top of this page). The GAN is trained on an growing data-set of images of the women participating and other women the collective find inspirational (scraped from Wikipedia and other public repositories). The intention is to create an alternative data-set of women, which we collectively feel is more representative.

Learn more about Women Reclaiming AI on the project website.

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