AI for diversity

At our recent Inclusion Festival, we heard from Dr Roger A. Søraa, Associate Professor, Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

Dr Søraa was in conversation with Ian McDonald, Director of Engineering at Retail Insights, and Rachel Howard, Tech Internal Communicator, where they discussed:

  • Why AI will shape the nature of work
  • How will it affect DEI?
  • Embedding DEI into the design of AI systems 
  • How can AI boost DEI?

Dr Søraa launched his book last year called AI for Diversity, and here he shares with us how AI has the potential to be a great friend and a dangerous foe for cultural change in our workplaces:

“Artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly impacting many aspects of people’s lives across the globe, from relatively mundane technology to more advanced digital systems that can make their own decisions. While AI has great potential, it also holds great peril depending on how it is designed and used. In my book, I question how AI technology can lead to inclusion or exclusion for diverse groups in society. 

“This is important both for AI developers and for advocates for DEI, both inside and outside companies. AI developers need to think is specific terms about how their systems are designed and used in practice considering all the different ways that AI can either combat or exacerbate the situation. For advocates of DEI it is important to reflect on what the capabilities of AI actually are and what contexts they are currently, or could in the near future, used in to ground their advocacy in AI fact rather than AI fiction.” 

In AI for Diversity, Dr Søraa has included chapters on gender, sexuality, disability, health, race, class, and intersectionality. 

Dr Søraa says he hopes his book "allows for such nuanced reflections beyond the headlines in a manner that is accessible and designed to spark robust reflections and conversations."

AI for Diversity (Routledge, 2023) can be purchased from Amazon.

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