East Sweden Tech Women together with AI Sweden and Linköping University have now hosted its first event! We got to listen to Professor Ericka Johnson talking about how organizations can use AI to improve equality and ways to counteract biased data.

One example was how creation of low overpasses in Long Island, New York during the 1930’s unintentionally has led to segregation in the long term demographic development by excluding access by public transportation to certain parts of Long Island. It’s an example that illustrates how important it is to understand the complexity in the underlying data in (AI) development in order to identify correlations and potential biases early, and to work intentionally to avoid them.

We seek safe medicines, unbiased doctors, and fair schools – standards that are integral to our society. So, why should the tech industry be an exception? Tech workers are actually developing and shaping the infrastructures in society and will stick with us for quite a while.

Tackling bias in data is not a task that can be accomplished overnight. It demands a collective effort and active participation from all stakeholders. Ericka highlighted that we need to drive activism to identify and rectify implicit biases embedded within current power structures. By doing so, we can pave the way for a more equitable future.

The evening ended with discussions in smaller groups and fika from Stångs Mjärdevi.

“The discussions were truly thought-provoking, particularly regarding our responsibility to ensure that AI services do not perpetuate old inequalities. It was fascinating to explore how we can draw lessons from the impact of past physical infrastructure. Ericka’s insights were absolutely fantastic, and I cherished the opportunity to engage in conversations with her and other participants afterward,” says Eva Ankarberg, Communication and Marketing Manager at VTI.

With that being said, East Sweden Tech Women’s first event can be checked off! And as we mentioned during the evening; please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have suggestions for topics or activities you’d like to arrange together or see on our stage. Let’s connect over a cup of coffee and discuss how we can bring your ideas to life.

Thank you once again for joining us, and stay tuned for more exciting events and opportunities ahead!