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Beyond Media: How ENWE’s Advocacy Can Influence AI Development

Insights from the VIII Forum of Mediterranean Women Journalists in Bari

What if the key to creating fair and unbiased artificial intelligence (AI) lies not in complex algorithms but in the stories we tell and the voices we amplify in our media?

This concept was the focal point of a panel contribution by our ENWE – European Network for Women Excellence team member Cristiana Bedei at the VIII Forum of Mediterranean Women Journalists in Bari on November 23. Here, she discussed how ENWE’s mission, centered on amplifying women’s voices in the media, is not just a stride toward gender equality but also an essential factor in shaping ethical AI.

Watch the panel ENWE participated in at the Forum of Mediterranean Women Journalists

Media’s Influence on AI Development

What we see, read, and hear in the news shapes our understanding of the world – and now impacts AI development as well. This is because AI is built on systems that learn from news articles, social media posts, interviews, and other media content. When this media content is biased, favoring male voices and perspectives, AI can inherit and replicate these biases.

For example, an AI system trained on stories that predominantly quote male experts in science might erroneously conclude that female experts in this field are less credible or noteworthy. This can affect AI-driven news aggregators or search engines, leading them to amplify male-dominated perspectives further and underrepresent female expertise.

Combating Gender Bias in AI

Ensuring diverse and inclusive media content is crucial to counteract the risks stemming from training with unbalanced data. When AI systems are fed gender-balanced information, they are more likely to form a comprehensive worldview, leading to fairer and more accurate outcomes. This is where ENWE’s advocacy for gender parity becomes even more relevant in the media landscape.

ENWE’s Role in Shaping AI

ENWE’s mission to ensure gender parity in the news is now also a strategic approach to influencing the development of balanced AI. Through our initiatives – from our network of European databases of women experts to our monthly “Ask Women” newsletter highlighting prominent women professionals – we aim to enrich media content with more diverse perspectives. This effort enhances journalistic quality but also steers AI algorithms toward inclusivity, fostering more gender-balanced coverage that, in turn, feeds into and refines AI datasets.

Our commitment, therefore, goes beyond equality in today’s media landscape. It’s about shaping a future where AI systems are just, fair, and inclusive, ensuring that the decisions and insights they generate reflect all genders.

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