Gendered algorithms: the future as a replica of the discriminative past

This PhD research is on gender-bias in Algorithms and understanding how historical bias shapes new technologies.

Sheilla Njoto was a recipient of the CAIDE 2020 PhD Scholarships and began her research in December 2020.

In the past decade, the adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in recruitment continues to rise. Central to this are the presumptions that AI systems enable, not only high efficiency, but also impartiality: unbiased calculations that lead to mathematical predictions. However, if AI makes decisions based on historical data and data is a reflection of society, then AI systems are not immune to bias. My research, therefore, investigates how and to what extent automated decision-making in this context discriminates against women and feminine language. It seeks to identify what constitutes a 'woman' in data, looking at both obvious and latent indicators—and identify to what extent a decision made on the basis of gender should be considered gender discrimination.

Sheilla is supervised by A/Prof Leah Ruppanner in the School of Social and Political Sciences and Dr Marc Cheong and Dr Lea Frermann from the School of Computing and Information Systems.

  • Sheilla Njoto 2
    Sheilla Njoto

    PhD Candidate

    Faculty of Arts

    University of Melbourne