The Swedish Gender Equality Agency and the AI Sustainability Center launch unique pilot project on AI and gender equality within government agencies


Does the use of AI in the public sector risk amplifying gender inequality? The Swedish Gender Equality Agency seeks to answer this question in a pilot project that will identify and measure possible risks of gender inequality within AI applications. The project is funded by Vinnova, Sweden’s Innovation Agency, and carried out in collaboration with the AI Sustainability Center.

“AI offers great opportunities for public agencies. The hope is that digitalization will develop, and positively enhance, how the public sector offers citizens services in the future. There are many aspects here that we lack oversight of and that we need more knowledge about. AI could promote gender equality but also lead to the opposite. In this pilot project, we want to create and test a model to counteract the risk of gender inequality arising from the use of AI,” says Lena Ag, Director General of the Swedish Gender Equality Agency.

The pilot project received SEK 1 660 000 via a Vinnova grant and will run through November 2021.

“Gender discrimination in AI applications can, for example, be attributed to bias in data or lack of transparency in the AI model. In order to detect negative ethical consequences of AI, an integrated technical, legal and societal perspective is required. The AI Sustainability Center has developed a method for identifying, measuring and governing ethical pitfalls. In this project, we will continue to develop this proven method so we can identify potential discrimination linked to gender, and design solutions to address these risks. This work can create a foundation for Sweden to take the lead in gender equality through the use of AI,” says AI Sustainability Center founder, Anna Felländer.

For more information:
Elizabeth Johnson, Communications Manager
AI Sustainability Center

Simon Falk, Press Officer
The Gender Equality Agency

Read the press release in Swedish.