Power in AI: Inequality Within and Without the Algorithm

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The birth of Artificial Intelligence in the 1950s was a birth that did not involve women. Despite female labour being used to solve problems that machines would one day automate, women remained unseen, their voices limited. Today, inequality is still rife. Bias, discrimination, and harm are algorithmically perpetuated and amplified. AI is technocratic, with multinationals in the US and China leading development, and the global South being left behind. Even within Silicon Valley, the environment is hostile towards women: from the products being created to the people calling for ethical and responsible development, women are losing out. This chapter explores the layers of imbalance in gender, race, and power in AI, from the beginnings of the discipline to the present day, from the development environment to the algorithms themselves, and highlights the challenges that need to be faced to move towards a more equitable landscape.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Handbook of Gender, Communication, and Women's Human Rights
EditorsMargaret Gallagher, Amy Vega Montiel
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781119800729
ISBN (Print)9781119800682
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2023

Publication series

NameGlobal Handbooks in Media and Communications Research
PublisherWiley Blackwell


  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • gender
  • human rights
  • bias
  • Intersectionality
  • media and communication


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