Girlfriend’s Guide to AI Blog

Your Online Journal and AI: A Tale of Privacy and Security

In the digital age, our lives are increasingly recorded in bits and bytes, shared through clicks and taps. Among these digital records, online journals, including diet journals, hold the intimate details of our daily lives. They are the modern-day diaries, locked not with a key but with passwords and encryption, guarding our personal journeys towards health and wellness.

But what happens when this digital confidante is powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

The Sacred Space of an Online Journal

Imagine your online diet journal as a sacred space. It’s where you confide your successes and setbacks, your feelings about your body, and your aspirations for health. This journal is more than just a log of meals; it’s a repository of hopes, frustrations, and personal reflections. In this digital age, we trust these platforms to safeguard our secrets as diligently as a friend. But as AI becomes increasingly integrated into these platforms, enhancing their functionality and personalizing our experience, the question of privacy and security becomes paramount.

The Guardians of Your Digital Sanctity: Privacy and Security in AI

Just as you wouldn’t leave your physical diary open for anyone to read, your online diet journal requires robust protection. AI systems, with their ability to process and analyze vast amounts of data, offer incredible benefits, from personalized diet plans to predictive suggestions for managing health. However, with great power comes great responsibility—the responsibility to protect the intimate details contained within these journals.

How do we ensure that our digital diaries remain our own, protected and private?

Trust and Consent: The Cornerstones of a Secure Digital Diary

Trust is the foundation of our relationship with digital platforms. We share our most personal information with the expectation that it will remain confidential. Similarly, consent is our permission slip to these platforms, allowing them to use our data in ways we’ve agreed to. In the world of AI, this means having clear and understandable privacy policies that let users know exactly what data is collected, how it’s used, and who has access to it.

The Right to Be Forgotten: Managing Your Digital Footprint

Just as we might tear out a page from our diary, we should have the ability to erase parts of our digital history. The right to be forgotten is a critical aspect of privacy and security in AI, allowing users to delete their data permanently from a platform. This ensures that our digital reflections, like our thoughts, can evolve without being permanently etched in the memory of the internet.

A Call to Action: Demand Your Digital Rights

As we entrust more of our personal lives to digital platforms, it’s imperative that we demand the same level of protection online as we would for a diary under our pillow. This means advocating for AI systems that prioritize our privacy and security, that respect our consent, and that allow us the freedom to manage our digital footprints.

As AI continues to weave its way into the fabric of our digital lives, let’s ensure that our online diet journals—and all forms of digital diaries—remain spaces of safety, trust, and personal growth. Just as a diary with a lock protects our written words, so too must our digital platforms shield our digital expressions with the utmost care and respect.

Breaking Bias: Charting a New Course for Women in the Age of AI

In our previous post, we emphasized the importance of empowering women through AI and the need for ethical AI practices. Today, we’ll delve deeper into how a culture addresses bias against women and develops fair and inclusive AI applications.

Addressing Biases in AI – Navigating the Path to Fairness

Addressing and mitigating biases against women is not just a nice-to-have, it’s a critical aspect of AI development. Biases emerge from tainted data, human biases, or flaws in algorithmic design. To combat biased AI systems, organizations need to proactively identify and eliminate biases before releasing AI applications to the public. When individuals and companies prioritize these proactive measures, we stand a greater chance of promoting inclusivity, fairness, and equal opportunities for women through AI technologies. If not, AI systems will maintain the status quo or even worse, double down on biased practices against women. 

Behind the Curtain – AI Bias Against Women

Let’s take a look at a couple of instances that demonstrate the existence of AI bias against women.  Amazon’s automated recruitment system was a prime example. Originally intended to evaluate job applicants based on qualifications, the system learned biases against women due to historical hiring practices at the company. As a result, resumes from female applicants were unfairly rated lower than those from male applicants. Amazon eventually canceled the use of the recruiting system. 

Another example of known bias against women is word-embeddings. Word-embeddings occur when words are turned into numbers. Harvard Business Review’s Josh Feast concluded in, “AI is learning gender bias from humans” where AI word-embeddings deduced that…

Doctor and Nurse

“Father is to doctor as mother is to nurse”

and “one gender category is angry more often than another”

The Observer reported similar word-embedding biases in AI Robots Can Amplify Sexism by Learning From Humans, Study Finds “word embeddings trained using Google News articles…exhibit gender stereotypes to a disturbing extent.” 

With the rising popularity and advancement of AI, it will soon permeate a wide range of human and non-human interactions. The highlighted examples are just a glimpse of many instances, but underscore the pressing need to tackle gender bias in AI. 

Ethical AI Frameworks – Feedback Loops

To ensure accountability and build trust, it is crucial that AI systems are transparent and understandable. The average woman should have the ability to grasp how AI systems make decisions and the factors that influence those decisions. It is important for her to comprehend how AI technology analyzes information and utilizes it to make choices that impact her daily life. Enabling transparency in training data and providing explanations for AI outcomes will help minimize the chances of biases going unnoticed or unquestioned. By ensuring that the process and results of AI are clear and user-friendly, a greater number of women will comprehend the purpose and potential impact of AI systems and contribute to mitigating potential biases.

Companies should establish Ethical and Responsible AI Frameworks encompassing well-defined guidelines and best practices for the development and deployment of AI. These frameworks should align with principles such as fairness, transparency, privacy, and accountability, while also taking an additional step forward. They should emphasize the inclusion of diverse development teams that consider a woman’s perspective and experiences, allowing the AI system to actively unlearn biases against women. Recognizing that biases may persist over time, it is crucial to incorporate ongoing monitoring and evaluation as integral parts of project scope and budgets. This involves routine feedback loops and assessments from diverse user groups that allow for implementing necessary adjustments to ensure the consistent enforcement of fair practices.

AI’s New Frontier – NIST and the White House Public Working Group

On March 30, 2023, NIST, The National Institute of Standards and Technology launched the Trustworthy & Responsible Artificial Intelligence Resource Center (AIRC) including an AI Risk Management Framework (RMF) and other resources. The framework is voluntary today, but provides guidance for companies to establish fair AI development practices. However, it does not explicitly address biases against women. Recently, the White House announced the NIST Public Working Group on AI aimed at developing crucial guidance to address the unique risks associated with generative AI technologies. It is an excellent opportunity for women to actively participate in shaping the future of AI in the United States by joining this public group. As women, we should seize this opportunity and make our voices heard.

So, who will actively participate in the NIST Public Working Group for AI or similar groups? How many women will seize this pivotal moment, join forces, and forge a path towards a future that empowers us, our daughters, and our friends with the support of AI?

It’s a Girl Thing, You Wouldn’t Understand…

As the division in our country grows more evident than ever before, it is surprising to see that women can be just as guilty of bias against their fellow women as men.

How many women will admit or even “recognize the devil in the mirror”? 

In 1973, psychologists Staines, Tavris, and Jayaratne introduced the term ‘Queen Bee‘ to describe a phenomenon observed among women who attain high positions in traditionally male-dominated fields. These women may consciously or unconsciously distance themselves from other women to protect their own positions. They may feel isolated and believe that opportunities for women at the top are limited, leading them to adopt masculine behaviors and tendencies to keep their distance from female colleagues. Their research revealed that instead of supporting or mentoring other women, some even reinforced gender stereotypes or perpetuated a male-dominated culture in the workplace. It’s important to note that women in leadership positions who succumb to this behavior can hinder the professional growth of other women, particularly those starting their careers or in lower-level positions within the organization.

QBP or Queen Bee Phenomenon, is a troubling outcome of women striving to succeed in male-dominated industries. A more recent term used to describe this behavior is “Self-Group Distancing,” and refers to the coping response of individuals from underrepresented groups who face social identity threat.

Considering this, if AI presents an opportunity for women to break free from these patterns, the question arises: Where and How do we Begin?”

A New Playbook – A New Syllabus

The current playbook for addressing bias in the workplace through education, training, and awareness has proven ineffective in closing gender disparities. Despite ongoing efforts, the statistics remain disheartening. A recent UN report reveals that women’s representation in leadership roles has stagnated at around 10 percent since 1995, and women continue to occupy less than a third of managerial positions. Even in countries where women surpass men in education, the gender income gap persists at a staggering 39 percent in favor of men.

Clearly, a new approach is needed as the existing playbook falls short. The emergence of AI introduces further complexity, demanding fresh strategies and innovative thinking. It’s important to acknowledge that there is no established playbook for addressing bias against women in the context of AI. We are navigating uncharted territory, and it requires a collective effort to chart a new course.

Rather than relying on the tired and ineffective diversity speak, we must explore new avenues, challenge traditional norms, and redefine our understanding of success. This calls for a paradigm shift in our approach to education, training, and awareness. We need to cultivate a supportive and fair environment that equips women with the knowledge and skills to navigate the evolving AI landscape. It’s time to break away from conventional thinking, embrace a growth mindset, and forge a path that ensures equal opportunities, representation, and success for women in the age of AI.

Training AI to reduce bias is possible, but completely eliminating bias poses significant challenges. AI models learn from historical data, and if that data contains biases, the models can unintentionally perpetuate those biases. Achieving safe and unbiased AI requires a dedicated effort to program bias out of machine-based systems, which necessitates robust human oversight. AI cannot be relied upon to self-regulate effectively.

Rather than placing blind trust in new AI tools that promise to streamline our lives and save time, we must subject AI systems to rigorous testing and maintain strict control over their deployment. This means exercising caution and vigilance, keeping a tight rein on AI’s capabilities, and involving a diverse group of individuals committed to ensuring a fair and equitable outcome for all genders. By approaching AI with a deliberate and cautious mindset, we can foster a more holistic and inclusive future that benefits everyone. 

Whose Job Is AI, Anyway?

It falls upon each of us — women like you, me, and those we know. The responsibility begins with individuals. Which women or female organizations do you align with to advance our cause? Who do you mentor, sponsor, and advocate for when she isn’t in the room? 

If you feel dissatisfied with your answers to these questions, it’s time to take action. As women, we have a vital role in supporting and uplifting one another. Regardless of the industry where we stand, let’s seek out groups that accelerate our career goals and foster connections with fellow women. Mentoring becomes a priority for intelligent, accomplished, and capable women like us. With our numbers, talent, skills, and the transformative power of AI at our disposal, it’s time to take action towards a future that is truly equal and fair. We must claim our true roles, positions, and titles, and amplify our voices.

Yes, it’s an immense responsibility, and achieving fairness and equality goes beyond integrating women into roles simply based on their gender. True fairness lies in the hands of a neutral AI party, one that embraces unbiased decision-making and recognizes and rewards individuals based on merit and qualifications. As we take action, AI can stand as a steadfast ally, marching alongside us with unwavering determination, impartial and resolute, to dismantle gender bias and champion our cause for equality. Can you hear the battlecry? In the words of politician Marcy, ‘To the victor belong the spoils.’ Together, let us claim our rightful place and secure the spoils of a future that is equal and just.

Girlfriends Leveraging AI

In today’s rapidly advancing world, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the power to transform industries and empower individuals. As we embrace the potential of AI and progress forward along this path, it’s crucial to cultivate an environment that promotes the use of safe and responsible AI, devoid of gender, racial, and economic bias. At the same time, it is necessary that AI become more approachable so that we leverage its capabilities and capture the imagination and talents of women of all ages and all backgrounds.

✴︎ How do we empower women through ✴︎


Create a Culture of Safe and Responsible AI

While AI brings tremendous opportunities, it also raises serious ethical concerns. In order to address these concerns and ensure that AI serves the best interests of all members of society, it is crucial to establish guidelines and practices that promote safety and responsibility.

One of the key considerations for addressing bias is to ensure the data training AI systems is not primed from biased data. Biased data in biased data out and neglecting the responsibility for a thorough examination of its data will perpetuate the same inequalities, the same chauvinisms, and the same prejudices within AI that women face in their personal and professional lives. 

Currently, there is a growing call for regulation and control of AI to prevent malicious use and societal harm. However, this call should be particularly significant for women, as women can be disproportionately affected by biased and harmful AI systems. By advocating for ethical frameworks and robust regulations, we have a better opportunity to create an environment that prioritizes women’s safety, well-being, and empowerment in the AI era.

Aside from just establishing frameworks and regulations, promoting accountability is equally important. This involves monitoring and assessing the impact of AI systems, holding developers and organizations responsible for any adverse effects, and providing mechanisms for redress in case of harm caused by AI technologies.

Additionally, AI systems should be designed in a way that allows for clear understanding of how they make decisions, enabling accountability and trust. By promoting transparency, we can uncover potential biases, rectify errors, and ensure that AI systems are fair and just.

Approachable AI Learning Paths

and Literacy Programs

AI is perceived as complex and intimidating, which can deter individuals, especially women, from exploring its potential. Young girls and women need to hear this and they need to hear it often. Anyone using a smartphone or a computer today has already been using AI. It is not new. There is just a great increase of hype and explosion of media interest due to recent developments and releases of AI technologies. The energy around AI is high and things are evolving quickly. 

Over the past few months, AI has proven it can easily streamline processes, write code, and enhance decision-making within seconds of a well written prompt. We are hearing that approximately 25% of American jobs could be replaced by AI automation by the year 2030. Given that the more popular focus for AI projects today is for improving efficiency and reducing tasks, the chances of AI replacing jobs such as Administrators, Data Clerks, Content Creators, and Paralegals, held predominately by women, is at a much higher risk. We are hearing that people who know and use AI will be replacing the jobs of those who are not competent in some way with AI. We are being told that people with AI references on their resume are more likely to be hired than someone without a reference to AI. If all these statements are true, then we need greater urgency to help women engage confidently with AI technologies, bridge the knowledge gap, and foster inclusivity to remove the barrier of entry and we start by demystifying the the word, “AI”. 

We have to make AI approachable and less intimidating to a broader audience and especially to women. By providing more female-friendly interfaces, we can attract more women to the field. By creating more female-centric learning paths we entice interest that will lead to necessary up-skills while continuing to leverage the natural strengths and talents of women. This goes for all women, regardless their age or their geographical location. If a women has access to the internet, she can be up-skilled. 

AI literacy within an AI learning path is especially crucial for young girls and women in their AI journey. It goes beyond technical expertise and focuses on understanding the ethical considerations, impact, and potential of AI in the context of societal influence and professional advancement.

AI literacy programs should be created for young girls that will peak their interest in math, data analytics, and natural language processing. AI literacy should include explainable terminology, ensuring that women of all ages understand the basics of the technology that is influencing the choices available today that will lead to the possibilities they will have tomorrow. By gaining fluency in AI terminology, young girls and women can actively participate in discussions and decisions related to AI. 

With an understanding of AI applications, women will be more likely to lesson the gender discrimination and bias about their ability to perform in male-dominated STEM fields, amplify their existing skills, and leverage AI tools for their personal endeavors. By leveraging fair and unbiased AI technologies and applications, we can reduce the inequity women face in society across all sectors and ensure the evaluation, advancement, and pay of women is equal to a male counterpart.

Be the Momentum

There is an incredible momentum brewing among women today. We need more women working in and building the future of AI. We need more women in Science, we need more women in Tech, we need more women in Engineering, we need more women in Math, we need more women on Boards, and we need more women in the C-Suites. 

Fostering a culture of safe and responsible AI is essential for women in this new era, but it requires addressing bias, ensuring transparency and explainability, and promoting accountability. By making AI more approachable for women of all backgrounds, we can drive positive change that will impact many generations that follow and ensure that it serves as a catalyst for equality, empowerment, and progress for all in this digital era.