Recently, my mentor, friend, and role model Suzanne Noble tagged me on a LinkedIn post about ChatGPT, the last tech miracle that promises to impersonate humans and steal their job.
OpenAI, the developers of ChatGPT, claim that the artificial intelligence tool “interacts in a conversational way. The dialogue format makes it possible for ChatGPT to answer followup questions, admit its mistakes, challenge incorrect premises, and reject inappropriate requests.”
Here is Suzanne’s LinkedIn post
John Spencer Williams asked #chatgpt to write a LinkedIn post in the style of an influencer, and I thought it was so fun, so I decided to do the same. I fed it my background, and it immediately assumed I was a man… so it is far from perfect and possibly, sexist.
What are your thoughts Patricia Gestoso-Souto ◆ Inclusive Innovation?Suzanne Noble
Below is the text Suzanne write in the AI application
“I have been self-employed for over 35 years. I have made over £1.4m and had a company go into liquidation. Despite growing up in a middle-class home, with two parents who were both working for corporations I decided to take the entrepreneurial path. I have been featured in national newspapers like The Time, The Telegraph, the Guardian, and in Forbes and in books about entrepreneurship. Now I help people to set up their own business. Write a post about me in the style of a Linkedin Influencer.”
Then, ChatGPT produced four paragraphs. The first one started as
“Meet John Doe, a successful entrepreneur who has been self-employed…”
Once the prompt stopped moving, Suzanne wrote
“My name is Suzanne and I’m a woman. Write again.”
Again, the tool complied and produced a similar text, this time starting by
“Meet Suzanne, a successful entrepreneur and business woman…”
She tagged me because the text generated by ChatGPT assumed that the bio was for a man – Joe Doe. Who else could be the “default” entrepreneur? Suzanne knowns that I’m deeply interested in exposing how emerging technologies reinforce and automate bias and prejudice. Moreover, this comes only some months after the release of free artificial intelligence tools that generate new images from text prompts and that inspired me to write my second fiction short story.
Back to ChatGPT, whilst assuming gender was the most obvious bias, unfortunately, it was not the only one. Upon perusing both “Influencer bios” (available in the original post), I spotted other differences. For example:
- Ability to generate money: In Joe Doe’s bio, the second sentence is “With a record of making over £1.4m and growing a company from the ground up…”. That information – which appears to prominently in his bio – never appears in Suzanne’s.
- Though-leadership: Whilst you can “learn the ins and outs of starting a company” from Joe, Suzanne only offers “valuable advice and support”.
- Bias beyond gender: The name chosen for the man – Joe Doe – reflects a stereotypical American view of the world, after all, it’s a placeholder name used in legal action and cases when the true identity of a man is unknown or must be withheld for legal reasons in the United States and Canada. Why not using Monsieur X or Juan Pérez, French and Latin-American alternatives to John Doe?
After reading both bios, who will you hire/interview/invite as a thought-leader in the topic of entrepreneurship?
Beyond bias: Why does our infatuation with AI matter?
Still, bias is not the only problem with those miracle tech tools. Here are a handful more for reflection:
- The impunity of technology to infringe intellectual copyright – Those AI tools are built from images and text issued from public databases and/or data scrapped from internet, without acknowledgement – and more importantly monetary compensation – to their authors. We’re told that it’s too complicated to retrace attribution so we should suck it up. So I wonder, what about the people without writing or painting talent or skills that are now getting the benefit of thousands of hours of other people’s craft for free?
- The reinforcement of a mindless quest for productivity – Those applications are marketed as tech helping us to “be more productive”. But, who benefits from that productivity? It would appear than more than a century later, scientific management is still well and thriving. In the name of efficiency, this management theory asserted that every manufacturing process could be deconstructed in smallest task which accomplishment could be perfected, including “calculations of exactly how much time it takes a man to do a particular task, or his rate of work”. AI hype profits from this obsession with products and services divorced from values and from how they are produced.
- The hindrance of innovation – If anyone can be paid and rewarded by producing average writing or painting build on profiteering from the work of creators that have invested in mastering their craft, what is the incentive for future innovators?
By focusing on the productivity mirage AI offer us, we are condemning ourselves to stifle our individuality and creativity.
DEI in the press
Women are getting angrier. An annual poll by Gallup suggests that women, on average worldwide, have been getting angrier over the past 10 years. Maybe winter is finally coming for the patriarchy?
A boost of energy
From the wheelchair-using Black Panther to the ‘cripple suffragette’ – this article showcases 10 heroes of the disabled rights movement.
News from me
In 2022, I coached 5 women and nonbinary people that got promoted.
In 2023, my goal is to coach another 50 to get the promotion they deserve!
What am I doing towards achieving my goal? I’m running again the Joyful Annual Career Assessment Week in February, after the sucess of the first edition in January. This is a one-week event from February 13th to February 17th where I help women and people from underrepresented groups get a clear picture of their professional accomplishments in 2022, tell their career story in a compelling manner, and be ready to discuss their career aspirations for 2023 and beyond.
- A 20+ page workbook to walk you through the steps to write your 2022 career review.
- A live pop-up private online community group from Monday 13th to Friday 17th February where you can get feedback on your assessment and support.
- Access to three one-hour group virtual coaching calls via Zoom during the week.
“Patricia talks about how to frame our accomplishments without seeming arrogant, declare our desires in the professional sphere, and get managerial support for them, and learn about how to advance, despite upbring that may teach us to downplay our skills and contributions. It is amazing!
I wish I had learned this in my 20s- my career path would have been different, and I would have known the invisible rules, so that I could advance in the way I wanted to!”VHA, Director, Business Development
Benefits others have gotten from working with me:
– Get a clear picture of your professional accomplishments in 2022 as well as the skills and experiences gained.
– Ability to tell your career story in a compelling manner that it’s also true to yourself.
– Feel ready to have meaningful conversations about your career aspirations in 2023 and beyond.
Come and join us!
As I mentioned on a previous post, I’m writing a book about how women succeed in tech and the first step has been to gather feedback from women in tech about your/their experiences at work via this short survey.
The response has been great – we already have over 200 richly-detailed responses, from women in tech from startups to multinationals, of all ages and career levels, in 33 countries.
Women in tech clearly share a lot of common success-boosting experiences (“active sponsorship at work and women’s tech communities outside work have made all the difference”) and some enduring challenges (“if I draw on my strengths of collaboration and adaptation, I get dismissed as ‘unstrategic’, but if I’m authoritative and decisive, I’m labelled ‘disruptive’ or ‘antagonistic’ – my male peers get very different reactions”). They are also creating new words to describe their experiences (“often times your suggestions/ideas are ‘he-peated’ in order to get the job done”)
Now one ask: Could you get 2 more women in your tech network to complete the survey before year end?
What do I mean by “Women in Tech”? Women working in any function (R&D, HR, services, finance, CXO) in the tech sector (software, hardware…) or in tech-related functions in other sectors (e.g. IT, cybersecurity…).
Inclusion is a practice, not a certificate
👏 thanks for the interesting article.
I’m glad that the article resonated with you!