Artificial intelligence and decision support algorithms have gained attention as an entity on its own thanks to the potential performance they offer in terms of data collection and handling. It has also been demonstrated that they reproduce gender biases in online dating platforms, social media, translation tools and image processing. For better or worse, the making of algorithms rely on human processes that are still unexplored.
Indeed, algorithms reflect social stereotypes and could potentially reinforce, or transform, them. Biases are contained in the input data, the labelling, as manual treatment is still highly required, the user samples, the experimental methodology… These are all beforehand practices reaching developers, engineers, data analysts, human and social scientists in a context where more and more data is digital-native. The major preoccupation underlying is that the ad hoc results obtained by these entities are widespread as a support for decision making in academia, private companies and the public sector without fully understanding how they came to be.
In order to remove heteronormative stereotypes, minorities discrimination or glass ceiling effects in the online platforms that are daily used one shall start with the comprehension of how are algorithms programmed and raise equality issues there embedded. For this purpose, we would like to organize a retreat among female students and researchers during 3 days in Switzerland to discuss, debate, and write a research agenda. The latter will provide a cursory sketch of algorithmic biases in the making and how we think multidisciplinary research will look like in the future. It is not so much meant as a forecast, but as a proposal - a stimulus for further research and call for action. For instance, the research agenda could present case studies producing gender logics, unfold the programming practices to identify critical steps for biases reproduction, and introduce corrective measures with success cases. The main goal is to formalize developing practices that remain invisible or difficult to access while developing critical thinking. A secondary goal is bringing women together that are estranged by different reasons but bounded by a specific preoccupation. This will help creating a network of a new thinking perspective by women, for society to introduce diversity whereas the male gaze is predominant in questions women are also directly affected by.