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Exploring how we can debias (with) AI Ladies of Data 2024: A recap!

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On 16 April the 5th edition of Ladies of Data took place at JADS. The focus of the event was on exploring the challenges of biases in AI and how AI can be leveraged to reduce biases in society. With the increasing automation of tasks previously handled by humans, the risk of biases slipping through in AI systems is significant, potentially leading to unfair decisions. However, heightened awareness of this issue is driving efforts towards developing fair and objective AI systems that do not inherit human biases.

The event kicked off with Dr. Ksenia Podoynitsyna and Academic Director Jos van Hillegersberg getting everyone warmed up with some interactive questions using Mentimeter. Then, Meike Nauta took the stage and got real about biases in data and AI. She didn’t just stop at pointing out the problem—she showed us how AI can actually be part of the solution. Meike explained how AI that’s easy to understand and interact with can help spot and fix biases. Plus, she stressed the importance of teams with diverse backgrounds working together to make AI fairer for everyone.

One big eye-opener was the example Meike gave about Amazon’s hiring process. Turns out, their AI ended up preferring male candidates because it was trained on resumes from the past decade, mostly from men. It’s a classic case of biased data leading to biased AI.

Break out sessions to inspire

After Meike’s talk, attendees split off into smaller groups for breakout sessions. Nadine Beks van Raaij from PNA Group showed us how AI can simplify complicated government jargon, making it easier for everyone to understand. Meanwhile, Jet Smits from ININ gave us the lowdown on how to make unbiased decisions in business using data.

Dr. Andreea Gorbatai then led a discussion about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives and how AI can either help or hinder progress in these areas.

Panel discussion with a special guest

The panel discussion that followed was a highlight of the event. State Secretary for Kingdom Relations and Digitalisation Alexandra van Huffelen Rina Joosten, Maaike Blok and Meike Nauta shared their thoughts on how humans and AI can work together to keep things fair. They stressed the need for human oversight in AI algorithms and the importance of making sure policymakers understand the ins and outs of digital tech.

In a nutshell, the event was a reminder that while AI can do amazing things, it still needs us humans to keep it in check. By working together and staying aware of biases, we can make sure AI works for everyone.


And of course, none of this would have been possible without the support of Dutch AI, PERA, MKB Datalab, PNA Group, ININ, Datacation, and BrushAI. Their partnership made the event a success, bringing together folks passionate about making AI fairer and more inclusive.


Check out the aftermovie here!

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