In the years ahead, we are likely to see the transformative power of AI affect society in ways that we can only imagine today. For this technology to impact positively on how we live, it is essential that those developing it are representative of the population as a whole, however evidence suggests that our digital world is not being created, nor cared for, by a diverse workforce.
Take female participation in the field of AI for example. According to a Global Gender Gap Report published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in 2018, women are currently under-represented in the field compared to men by a margin of three to one. As AI systems are at risk of inadvertently replicating the biases of the people who create them, this level of under-representation of any group threatens to limit the AI industry’s potential for good.
Leading British artificial intelligence company DeepMind recognises the need for proactive measures to prevent a deepening of the gender gap. It has given a significant donation to the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science at Queen Mary in support of female graduate students studying AI at the university. The donation is being used to establish a new scholarship programme to encourage women to pursue postgraduate education in AI and the School was delighted to award four full scholarships this academic year 2019/2020.
Demis Hassabis, co-founder and CEO, DeepMind, said: “DeepMind is proud to be working with Queen Mary to help address the gender imbalance in our field.”
You can read more about these scholarships on the Queen Mary website.