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Athena Alliance launched an inclusive guide to AI

Integrating AI technology into the workplace may be necessary, but without the right guidance, it could also hinder women’s success. So, this female-led company created the guide themselves. 

Currently, only 22% of employees who work with AI globally are women, according to management consulting company McKinsey. In an effort to make the emerging tech more inclusive, female executive education company Athena Alliance published an AI Governance Playbook authored by women and non-binary folks in their community. 

“When we look around at the conversation that has been happening around AI, the loudest voices have typically been men,” says Erin Essenmacher, chief strategy and member experience officer at Athena Alliance. “So we asked who else wanted to be a part of it, because people are going to have different perspectives and different pieces of the puzzle of this transformative thing that we’re all looking at and trying to lead through and make sense of.” 

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According to Indeed, only 35% of women believe they understand the impact of the new tech on their success. Athena Alliance believes their guidebook can at least offer readers a better understanding of what AI is and how to take advantage of it without alienating them. Their guidance is structured around five main pillars — oversight, ethics and risk, situational awareness and talent, incentives and culture — and aims to provide leaders with a holistic and inclusive framework on how to integrate AI into their organizations while taking marginalized communities’ experiences into account. 

“Women make up 50% of the population and we’re building tools that don’t take into consideration those voices,” Essenmacher says. “And when we have a small minority of perspectives designing products, services and technologies it doesn’t just have a massive ripple effect not just in the products that get created — it becomes a reflection of the world that we live in.” 

Without inclusivity at the center of new tech roll-outs, women are more likely to be harmed by AI. For example, women are disproportionately at risk of job loss due to AI, according to Boston Consulting Group and online authentication platform Sensity AI found that 90% of online deepfake disparaging photos and videos created by AI are of women. 

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“If you don’t prioritize a diversity of perspective you will inherently have blind spots in your business that keep you from seeing opportunity and recognizing risk,” Essenmacher says. “Those blind spots can then have massive implications for your employees, customers and key stakeholders and end up being very detrimental for what you’re trying to achieve as a company.” 

The playbook’s contributors, who span across several industries and sectors with backgrounds in risk, compliance, data, AI and ethics, created strategies for employers who are trying to keep up with the rise of workplace automation while furthering existing diversity efforts or fostering new ones. The playbook is currently available for download on the company’s website and open to anyone looking to expand their understanding of AI regardless of industry or company size. 

“We have to take any opportunity to get [AI implementation] right,” Essenmacher says. “Because key groups are going to be fundamentally impacted by new and essential tech and we don’t know what the fallout will be if we don’t have their voices in the room.”

Originally Appeared Here

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