Artificial intelligence could reinforce society’s gender equality problems

While the new age technology like AI has a huge potential to benefit the modern society in various ways, it is not without its own share of disadvantages.

One of the major disadvantages of Artificial intelligence is that it can be used as a tool to promote the gender bias in the society. We already know that the modern society is still plagued with gender bias despite the phenomenal growth in different sectors.

According to a study, the total percentage of women board directors is around 19% in the advanced countries like Europe and the US. It wouldn’t require much brainwork to assume that this percentage would be much less in developing countries. A more unfortunate truth is that while the use of sophisticated technologies like AI can help the society and business to achieve more in a lesser period of time, it can proactively help in promoting the gender bias too. The functional efficiency and learning capabilities of AI can be used to create the environment that is unfair for the fair gender.

Here are the different ways in which AI can help in increasing the gender gap:

Makes it difficult for the single women to get loan/credit facility

The advanced technology of AI is highly capable of filtering the profiles based on “quick factors” like images, or a single/specific field(s). Many financial businesses have already started using the AI successfully in making their tasks easier. One such task that has been facilitated by the AI is identifying the repayment capability of the people who apply for a loan before proceeding with their applications.

The Gender-based Disadvantage

  • The finance companies generally hesitate to provide credit/loan services to the single women (especially if she is a single parent) as they are not convinced about her repayment capability given the lower salaries of women workforce.

How can AI promote the gender bias?

  • Here the AI can offer them the simple technique to identify and “filter out” the profiles that don’t have the sound financial support to repay the credit and those profiles will also include a large number of single working women.

It can promote Gender Based recruitment processThe recruitment process is another major front where AI capabilities can augment the gender-based bias. Given the crucial role it plays and the huge volume of applications received by the employers in response to the job advertisement, the entire process of selecting the right candidate is cumbersome and prone to human weakness/error. The AI can help reduce the burden by automating many tasks intelligently and in a less time. However, the employers can also create the parameters that promote gender bias.

The Gender-based Disadvantage

Despite the meticulous performance by fair gender that equals or even bests the performance of their male counterparts, many employers hesitate to hire women for specific jobs like engineering, driving, flying airplanes or warehouse managers.

How can AI promote the gender bias?

With the use of AI, the employers can easily filter out the women candidates while hiring for such posts. Notably, in order to save the time, the AI can be trained to “act” (or filter out) as soon as it scans the “gender” field and found that it is “Female”. It will be even more disadvantageous for the deserving females who have the prior experience, expertise and a proven track record in the same field.

Encourages women to settle for unmatched profiles
While gender bias is generally associated with preventing the women from doing the jobs that are deemed fit for the men just because of traditional belief, a deeper study would also reveal that encouraging women to take up “feminine jobs” is another way in which the gender bias works. For example, a large number of job ads for receptionist require only female candidates to apply. Judging from the surface it can be assumed that such ads help reserve a specific place for the women in the job industry.

The Gender-based Disadvantage

However, when we look at the other side of the coin it will be revealed that such ads can also increase the gender bias. AI can easily be used to categorize the jobs as “masculine” and “feminine” and select the profiles based on gender as the primary criteria.

How can AI promote the gender bias?

It can be clear by a real-life example. Suppose a female candidate from humble backgrounds managed to complete her engineering degree wither help of the scholarship. But upon applying for the job she was rejected just because of her gender. After several attempts, she lost her interest in this job profile and started searching for other profiles. The profile of receptionist reserved for “females only” attracted her not because of the job profile but the better chances of being hired. At last, she was able to acquire a job but it was more of a compromise than an achievement. One woman was able to gain the job because of her gender but at the same time, one deserving candidate was indirectly “pushed” to a profile that does not justify her high qualifications. Understandably AI can proactively help in hiring more women for “reserved jobs” like receptionist and thus help in making the gender gap even wider.

Author Bio

Annette is a content writer and director of operations. She writes for various industries like travel, wildlife, history, art, and of course technology! She works with B2B and B2C businesses providing digital marketing content that gains social media attention and increases their search engine visibility.

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