The use of gender in technology:
1- Is not neutral (Miriam Sweeney ¹)
2 – Raises ethical complexities (Miriam Sweeney¹ again)
3 – Intersects with other systems of oppression (Patricia Hill Collins Matrix of domination and Intersecting oppressions²)
☝️This is a 💪 call to action 💪 for anyone working with technology that is gendered.
Failing to address the above means that we are complacent in the ‘IRL-DIgital feedback loop of shitty-ness’ (swear concept is mine but this came from reading / hearing the brilliant work of Virginia Eubanks in ‘Automating Inequality’ ³).
The patterns of interaction we are creating in digital worlds are not only building on and perpetuating IRL dominant notions of violence and oppression, but are also reinforcing them and reshaping them back IRL. It’s the IRL-Digital loop of shitty-ness.
‘These were the key messages I wanted to pass on to people’ I thought, as cycled back to work from digital catapult where the event ‘UAL Digital Edge’ was taking place.
I was invited to speak by Dr. Charlotte Webb, who runs the Feminist Internet (FI) collective, with whom I’ve been working with, in a series of workshops that look at how gender is used in AI consumer devices. I approached the FI with the idea for a public engagement project where via speculative design and co-participation we create counter stories about technology and engage with communities that sit outside the dominant narratives of technology.
As a result, we’ve run workshops in London and Barcelona that look at how gender is used in Personal Intelligent Assistants, and how we want the future use of gender in AI to be like.
We are looking for more communities to engage with, collaborations and partnerships. Get in touch if you want to be involved: firstname.lastname@example.org
1- Not just a pretty (inter)face: A critical analysis of Microsoft’s ‘Ms. Dewey’ – Miriam Sweeney
2- Intersecting Oppressions – Patricia Hill Collins
3 – Automating Inequality – Virginia Eubanks