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Gender, Technology, and Law: The Consequences of Missing Diversity Considerations in the Development of Algorithms

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This Gender, Technology and Law session will be animated by Dr. Eduard Fosch Villaronga (Leiden University) and is entitled: The consequences of missing diversity considerations in the development of algorithms.


The session is free to attend but registration is required. To register, please fill in the registration form. Should you face any difficulties with your registration, please send an e-mail to Olga Gkotsopoulou (LSTS) or Carlotta Rigotti (FRC).



The implications and deep-rootedness of gender and diversity considerations in practices and structural systems have been largely disregarded in algorithms' development. For instance, automated gender recognition systems clash with the idea that gender is subjective and internal, often leading to misgendering outcomes that may have ulterior adverse effects for parts of the population, including the transgender, intersex, and non-binary community. This talk will explore how current algorithmic-based systems may reinforce gender biases and affect marginalized communities in different applications. To do so, we will bring together notions and reflections from computer science, queer media studies, and legal insights to better understand the magnitude of failing to consider gender and sex differences in the development of algorithms. The talk's goal is to illustrate the potential impact algorithmic bias may have on inadvertent discriminatory and privacy-related concerns for society. 


Speaker's bio:

Dr. Fosch-Villaronga is an Assistant Professor at the eLaw Center for Law and Digital Technologies at Leiden University (NL) where he investigates legal and regulatory aspects of robot and AI technologies, with a special focus on healthcare. Eduard recently published the book ‘Robots, Healthcare, and the Law. Regulating Automation in Personal Care’ with Routledge and is interested in human-robot interaction, responsible innovation, and the future of law.

Eduard is the co-leader of the Ethical, Legal, and Societal Aspects Working Group at the H2020 Cost Action 16116 on Wearable Robots and the Social Responsibility Working Group at the H2020 Cost Action 19121 GoodBrother. Eduard served the European Commission in the Sub-Group on Artificial Intelligence (AI), connected products and other new challenges in product safety to the Consumer Safety Network (CSN) to revise the General Product Safety directive.

Previously, he worked as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Researcher under the LEaDing Fellows at eLaw (Jan 2019-Dec 2020). He also was a postdoc at the Microsoft Cloud Computing Research Center at Queen Mary University of London (the UK, 2018) investigating the legal implications of cloud robotics; and at the University of Twente (NL, 2017) as a postdoc, exploring iterative regulatory modes for robot governance. Eduard Fosch-Villaronga holds an Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate (EMJD) in Law, Science, and Technology coordinated by the University of Bologna (IT, 2017), an LL.M. from University of Toulouse (FR, 2012), an M.A. from the Autonomous University of Madrid (ES), and an LL.B. from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (CAT, 2011). Eduard is also a qualified lawyer in Spain and his publications are available online.