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Who makes AI? Inequality in AI Films

Films entrench gender inequality in AI, according to a new study by LCFI researchers.

A new paper in Public Understanding of Science and an associated report by Stephen Cave, Kanta Dihal, Eleanor Drage, and Kerry McInerney shows the results of an analysis of the 142 most influential AI films in history, establishing that gender inequalities in film are more extreme than in real life.

Key Findings

  • Just 8% of all depictions of AI professionals from a century of popular film are women – and more than half of these are shown as subordinate to men. 
  • This gender imbalance is even bigger than in the real-world AI industry, in which 20% of AI professionals are women.
  • Not a single influential AI film in history was directed solely by a woman.
  • The study discusses a number of consequences of the underrepresentation of women in portrayals of AI scientists, including the negative influence on career choices, hiring practices, and the treatment of women in AI workplaces. All these factors lead to fewer women entering or staying in the AI field, which is both unjust in itself, and risks contributing to the development of discriminatory technology. 

The report containing the study’s key findings can be downloaded from the Resources section of the LCFI website.

Download Report 

The full paper can be downloaded from Public Understanding of Science. 

Download Full Academic Paper

Who Makes AI

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