Generative AI – the deep learning models that create voice, text, and image – is revolutionizing the way people access information and produce, receive, and interact with content. While technological innovations such as ChatGPT, DALL-E and Bard offer unimaginable productivity gains, they also raise concerns about the protection and promotion of human rights. The arrival of generative AI raises new, unexplored questions: What are the normative corporate policies and cultures that perpetuate technology-facilitated gender-based violence and harm? How do AI-based technologies facilitate gender-based harassment and hate speech? What "quick hacks" can lead to misinformation, hate speech, harassment, and sexist attacks? What steps can businesses, governments, civil society organizations, and individuals take to anticipate and mitigate these risks?
UNESCO is working to find solutions to the rise in gender-based violence amplified by the use of new technologies. Earlier this year, on the occasion of International Women in Multilateralism Day, UNESCO published recommendations for social media governance to combat gender-based disinformation online, which were included in the global guidelines for the regulation of digital platforms, Internet for Trust (2023). UNESCO Member States have also worked hard to implement their standard-setting instrument, the Recommendation on the Ethics of AI (2021), including specific measures to address gender inequalities in AI. Similar to UNESCO's work on regulatory solutions and providing policy advice to address hate speech through education (2023), UNESCO's groundbreaking work, The Chilling, focuses on prominent women online and the immense campaigns of hate and harassment they disproportionately face. By combining in-depth case studies and survey data, The Chilling demonstrates that, in a world before generative AI, technology-facilitated gender-based violence (TFGBV) was already a major problem.
In November 2023, UNESCO published "Guidelines for Safeguarding Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Digital Platform Governance: A Multi-Stakeholder Approach", which aims to protect freedom of expression, ensure access to information and uphold other human rights in the governance of digital platforms, while tackling harmful content online. The guidelines have been designed to be integrated into the development and deployment of generative AI tools, with the aim of assessing and mitigating the risks associated with gender bias and discrimination.
This event will launch UNESCO's new study on the impact of technology-facilitated gender-based violence in the era of generative AI, authored by Dr. Rumman Chowdhury, a pioneer in the field of applied algorithmic ethics and one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People for 2023 in the field of artificial intelligence.
Elodie Martinez will interview Dr. Rumman Chowdhury to explore the relationship between generative AI and the safe participation of women and girls online. As a starting point, they will reflect on the findings of Dr. Chowdhury's report and the results of her extensive experiments on how generative AI is currently being used to facilitate gender-based violence. Together, they will reveal the new harms that generative AI poses and that are identified in Dr. Chowdhury's report. These include the creation of more realistic fake media, "hallucinations" or biases in the results, automated harassment campaigns, and the ability to construct "synthetic stories" – realistic false narratives. Ms Chowdhury will share lessons learned from her rapid injection experiences on how gender-based patterns of cyberbullying are generated and propose a combination of measures to be put in place by generative AI companies and the technology companies that implement them, regulators and policymakers, civil society organizations and individuals.
For more information contact
Ana Cristina Ruelas, Senior Programme Specialist, CI Sector (firstname.lastname@example.org )
Melika Medici, Senior Programme Specialist, Division for Gender Equality (email@example.com)
Karel Fracapane, Programme Specialist for Global Citizenship and Peace Education (firstname.lastname@example.org)