What is feminist AI? Why do we need it? How can a feminist approach bring about a fundamental change in socio-economic systems and human rights? How can we catalyze a global movement from the global south that offers alternatives to achieve equity, social and environmental justice?
Feminist AI is the kind of AI that is inclusive and is geared toward contributing to a more equal society. The term ‘feminist’ here does not merely denote the fight for gender equality, though that naturally figures prominently in our work, it also refers to the attempt to harness the potential of AI to reduce other forms of inequality, such as that existing between the dominant and the traditionally excluded groups in society.
Systemic gender, racial, social, linguistic biases, as well as other intersectionalities, are at the core of current artificial intelligence processes emerging in the global North and then replicated in the global South. It is urgent to combat and correct these prejudices and discriminations through analyses and proposals with approaches that, from a feminist, decolonial, situated perspective. It is also urgent to offer alternative visions to respond to the problems we face as a region in the Global South. We seek to broaden the understanding of what a feminist AI implies in all its processes and how this framework can positively transform the logics associated with algorithmic decision-making systems. We want innovative ways to emerge which promote technological development in our region through critical reflection, methodological innovation, and experimentation.
To this end, we are promoting the Southeast Asia (SEA) Hub of the Feminist Network for Research in the social aspects of Artificial Intelligence to contribute to the development of innovation and critical action-research capacities. The members of the SEA Hub will be women and men from different sectors, including academia, activist, and development organizations, who are contributing to the discussion at the regional level. The SEA Hub will meet regularly and will generate products and resources that are the result of its research and dialogue.
Furthermore, the SEA Hub will support the launch of annual calls for projects that allow exploring how to Incubate Feminist Artificial Intelligence. During the period from 2022 to 2024, annual calls will be made to develop articles, prototypes, and pilots that allow for theoretical innovation, as well as how to build databases, models, systems, standards, or artificial intelligence devices under feminist values to attend the needs of specific communities in the Southeast Asia regions, values that advance the agenda of equity, inclusion, social and environmental justice.