Women at the Table

<A+> Alliance: Incubating Feminist AI
Call for Expressions of Interest Q2 2022

Phase 1 : LAC, SE Asia & MENA Regions

The call is led by the <A+> Alliance, a network of technologists, academics & activists working together to ensure new algorithmic systems do not embed an already biased system into our collective futures, and to explore new models that will reach beyond mitigation of bias to correct for historic inequity in order to help ensure a more fair, just and inclusive collective future for all. 

This call is released as part of the f<a+i>r feminist AI research network, supported by IDRC, in a three-year initiative to create new algorithmic and social science models that enhance social science and maching learning disciplines to intersect with core public policy agendas in the Global South.

The project will a) call for expressions of interest (current – Phase 1); b) develop a new model for publication as a research paper (Phase 2); c) prototype (Phase 3); and d) pilot (Phase 4) applied feminist AI research and solutions to ensure that technology is co-created with problem definition and solution design of affected communities, and meets or exceeds the needs of the historically marginalized or vulnerable, especially women and girls. 

What is Feminist AI? 

Feminist AI is Artificial Intelligence harnessed to deliver equality outcomes, designed with inclusion at the core, creating new opportunities and proactive, innovative correction of inequities in economic / social allocation, and building from feminist data collection & deployment.

The current Phase 1 Call for Expressions of Interest (Deadline: 29 May, 2022 ) will support a maximum of 9 grants in 2022, and 9 grants in 2023 (to propose and research a model → Paper), that will subsequently be selected to participate in further phases (Prototype and Pilot) through 2024. 

Expressions of Interest should demonstrate a necessary, innovative, and achievable new model, or a new way of conceiving AI that corrects for historic inequities and brings social programs + policies fit for the 21st century.

Examples could be:

1. The development of a relevant dataset that is intended for a specific machine learning use case articulated in the call;

2. The development of an AI proof-of-concept that aims to enhance inclusion and/or resolve historic inequities in social programs, policies, or service delivery OR that seeks to use AI to model social inequities to inform policies; or

3. To advance research on impact assessments or understanding the implications of AI being used in social policy contexts, with the intention of proposing relevant shifts in AI-methodologies and understandings; or

4. To propose a paper that explores new ways of conceiving AI to realize a more inclusive and equitable future.

Who Is Eligible to Apply?  

The call for Expressions of Interest is open to interdisciplinary teams (social, technical, feminist) including academics, researchers, activists, innovators and/or organisations (independently or in teams) and local communities in South East Asia, Latin  America and Caribbean and MENA– to co-create the positive potential of AI in policy, practice and innovation to advance gender equality and advance the quality of life for all.

  • Each team must be Interdisciplinary i.e., have at least two disciplines represented as primary investigators 
  • All primary authors must be domiciled in the Global South.
    • At least one partner is domiciled in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Latin America (LAC) and South East Asia (SE Asia).
    • Both primary authors must be domiciled in the Global South.
    • Allied partners (team members but not leads) may be in outside regions.
  • Ongoing projects are encouraged to apply for additional funding to further explore or scale ideas;
  • IDRC & A+ Alliance will enter a contractual agreement with the lead member only. The other members will be considered subcontractors.

We are aware some applicants may have strong social model concepts but less technological expertise, and vice versa. We are dedicated to helping untraditional academic teams or community groups find partners, and will support teams with capacity building or technical assistance where appropriate.

Last modified: May 3, 2022