Dr. Alonso was quoted on an article at Nature.com

A humanoid robot called Sophia. An artificial-intelligence conference has been accused of having a discriminatory culture.Credit: Tomasz Wiech/AFP/GettyDr. Alonso was quoted on an article at nature.com on the issues were thrown into stark relief earlier this month with the release of a survey of 2,375 people — most of whom had either attended the meeting or submitted papers for consideration in previous years.

Respondents reported experiencing sexual harassment, seeing the conference welcome sexist people and regularly hearing sexist or sexually abusive comments and jokes. Women reported unwelcome, persistent advances from men at the conference. The analysis does not reveal what percentages of respondents reported these experiences but does say that 15% of respondents were women.

 

The measures introduced this year are a good start, but that the real progress will be made when people begin to act more inclusively and encourage diversity on a large scale “when the camera is turned off and the lights are not shining”. Meaningful actions could include people recognizing their own bias, mentoring young scientists and having day-to-day interactions with a diverse range of people.

~ Dr. Miguel Alonso Jr.

 

Read more about Can a major AI conference shed its reputation for hosting sexist behaviour? at Nature.com