All over the world today, the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is increasing across several professions and industries and it is aiding product and service delivery. Described to be one of the integral features of the 4th Industrial Revolution, there has been a growth in AI research and development to promote cross-sectoral integrations and applications in the field.
In Africa, governments, multinationals, and not-for-profits are partnering and supporting AI on the continent, in order to reap the promised benefits of the technology. However, one of the biggest challenges in the non-critical adoption of AI is the lack of diversity and the absence of a relational ethics framework prioritising women. A failure which replicates similar narratives in the West.
The absence of women in the developing field of AI in Africa, which is a direct result of the failure at primary and secondary levels to support girls in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) courses, means that women are unable to design solutions that benefit them solely and that women in the field are marginalised and subjected to toxicity in their working environments.
About African Women in Artificial Intelligence Project
Pollicy’s African Women in Artificial Intelligence Project (AWiAIP) is set to spark conversation about Artificial Intelligence and Gender Equality in Africa. The project aims at initiating conversations with AI hub leaders and innovators from the private sector, academia, and civil society organizations across Africa as well as gender equality leaders on the continent.
This is a three-part series that will explore the landscape of Artificial Intelligence (AI) across the African continent through a feminist lens. This first part outlines existing AI applications on the continent, factors that drive or hinder AI innovation, and ethical concerns surrounding the impact of AI on women in the African context.