February 24, 2023

Are Black Women The Key To A Non-Biased AI System?

In an ideal world, the development of AI will come with no added biases. But, unfortunately, this is not the case. 

As many organizations look to find a solution to AI bias, reports suggest bringing more Black women into data science will help eliminate this issue – but is it true?

Diversifying data science

If the developers behind AI systems look, sound, and share the same life experiences, how can we expect to have a tool reflective of society?

Novelist Chimamanda Adichie touched upon this when highlighting the dangers of “a single story,” also known as a one-dimensional point of view. This theory can also be applied to the development of artificial intelligence.

Diversifying data science boils down to one thing, bringing multiple perspectives into the room. As artificial intelligence continues to dominate, we are slowly being exposed to a computer system that reflects the human biases of its developers.

However, changing the faces that work behind AI has proven to be even more complex as tech workforces experience mass layoffs that result in DEI commitments being left on the back burner.

So, what is the solution? 

Black women in AI

A 2021 survey by Deloitte, which analyzed both women and men in AI and machine learning (ML), revealed that including women in tech helped bring unique perspectives to the development of advanced technology. As artificial intelligence is known for largely impacting Black women, our voices are necessary when

“It is imperative for Black women to be included in the building of our data workforce to avoid bias from showing up in our data sets and algorithms,” said Oyinkansola Adebayo, CEO and Founder of Niyo Group, in an interview. “Black women in data means Black female representation in data.” 

Despite Black women playing a pivotal role in advancing modern technology, more than 2000 Black women are currently “missing” from the IT industry.

Angle Bush, the founder of Black Women In Artificial Intelligence, is among the community of Black women working to change this. The entrepreneur’s platform works to empower Black women to pursue careers in AI by providing them with education, mentorship, and a sense of community.

“People often say that artificial intelligence is the fourth industrial revolution, and at that moment, I said, ‘Surely you can’t have a revolution without Black women,” said Angle Bush at an event hosted by the University of Miami’s Institute for Data Science.

Although many Black women are doing their part to break into the AI sector, we are yet to see a fair representation of us in these rooms.

Kumba Kpakima

Kumba Kpakima is a reporter at POCIT. A documentary about the knife crime epidemic in the UK got her a nomination for the UK's #30toWatch Young Journalists of the Year.