18 Feb The robot-proof skills that give women an edge in the age of AI
The robot-proof skills that give women an edge in the age of AI
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The latest panic about artificial intelligence is that it will deal a blow to women in the workplace. Women accustomed to gloomy headlines may have met this one with a fatalistic shrug. But it is worth interrogating why on earth it might be true. The concerns are legitimate enough, but they fail to appreciate the big ways in which the world of work is going to change. In fact, it is quite possible the age of AI will belong to women. Men are the ones in danger of being left behind. There are admittedly some reasons to worry about women. Some AI tools may be biased against them — a risk for any group that has been historically under-represented in the workplace. Because machine learning tends to learn from historical data, it can perpetuate patterns from the past into the future. Amazon reportedly discovered a few years ago that an experimental recruitment tool, based on 10 years’ worth of job application data, had taught itself to penalise CVs that contained the word “women’s”, such as “captain of the women’s hockey team”.