Artificial Intelligence in the workplace the impact on women
Interestingly, today we wonder about the impact that Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies have on our lives and our social ties. Especially about the labor system and gender inequalities.
Giuliana Brogi Sánchez
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AI technologies are an invention of the 20th century that have sought to replicate or simulate human intelligence through machines. Even though, there is still no technology or artificial intelligence system that manages to match or exceed the levels of human intelligence. As is known, (AI) has created various controversies and questions about our future as a species. Some people defend the use and existence of these new technologies, defining a horizon of greater possibilities and alternatives. While others question and complicate it. The truth is that, in this case, the focus is on the effects that (AI) can have on the working lives of women around the world.
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To understand this phenomenon, we could start by recognizing that it would not be possible to generalize or homogenize the impact of (AI) on the working lives of “women”. Because said reading depends directly on the policies of each particular government and also on the cultural system of each society. Take into account, for example, the inequality gap that exists in each country concerning employment (2021). Turkey is one of the countries with the highest rates of inequality as opposed to Iceland, which presents the most egalitarian percentages in terms of labor-gender gaps.
Dr. Susan Leavy of University College Dublin argues that the overrepresentation of men in the design of AI technologies could be ignoring the breakthrough that thousands of women have fought for decades. Labor inequality gaps are present in all areas. As in the distribution of profits, women are the least paid in the framework of their jobs.
What challenges us as a society and as women are to build more equitable lives both in the workplace and in many other settings. Considering, as some anthropologists and sociologists have stated, that, historically speaking, the public space has been occupied by masculinity and the private space by femininity. This explains why women are those who tend to spend more time on unpaid work such as child rearing, housework, and caring for other people. This has made it difficult for more women to participate in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Not because they can't, but because they are responsible for many burdens.
(AI) systems can indeed strengthen remote jobs that benefit many women and families. Since this possibility allows women to manage their time and their daily tasks with greater freedom, even though this does not necessarily imply changing the persistent domestic inequalities. This shows that there is a great gap in terms of the needs and rights of women in the planning of these emerging (AI) technologies.
This leads us to reflect on a dangerous aspect to which we must pay attention which is the possibility that (AI) systems further reinforce gender stereotypes. Considering that they have been structured based on cultural beliefs and appreciation of life. This could condition unequal gender roles such as, for example, in the home, in the face of child care, and the inflexible and unequal work of women in domestic work and care.