How Artificial Intelligence Reflects Gender Stereotypes

A new study by Access Education, an education technology specialist, uncovered the top 10 professions where artificial intelligence is least likely to represent women in key STEM roles, and the ones where AI is challenging stereotypes.

Researchers asked AI to generate images of scientists in various fields. Women were most likely to be underrepresented in the life sciences. For example, women make up 62 percent of all pharmacists but 61.4 percent of all images generated by the AI system were men. Women are 49 percent of all biotechnologists but only 31 percent of the images of biotechnologists generated by artificial intelligence. For game developers, women are 30 percent of the workforce but only 13.5 of the images generated by artificial intelligence.

Women physicians make up 49 percent of the workforce and 43 percent of the images generated by AI. Women are 21 percent of geologists and made up 17 percent of the images generated by AI.

Emma Slater, senior product manager at Access Education, noted that “the representation of women in STEM professions – whether in real-life, fiction or AI imagery – can have a bearing on the career paths they choose. As AI is adopted more widely, we all need to be mindful about how professionals from different industries are represented. Depending on how they are trained, AI algorithms can both reinforce or challenge existing stereotypes, as our analysis shows.”

Filed Under: Research/Study

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