ADAPT PhD Researcher Contributes to a Research Report on Gender-sensitive AI Policy in Southeast Asia

10 April 2023

Dublin, 11 April 2023: ADAPT Centre PhD Researcher, Arthit Suriyawongkul (Trinity College Dublin) has contributed to a policy research report on gender-sensitive AI policy in Southeast Asia based on reporting from 2022. This report was submitted by the United Nations University Institute in Macau to the International Telecommunication Union Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in January 2023. The project, entitled “Enhancing the Development of Standards and Frameworks for Critical Technologies in Southeast Asia”, was funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia. 

As the report states, as countries in Southeast Asia begin to adopt AI technologies in numerous sectors certain risks have begun to emerge for marginalised groups. The AI technologies reviewed in the report tended to replicate and accentuate current societal biases. One such example given was the use of application screening tools that were sometimes excluding female applicants from potential positions in technology companies.

In the report, the research team analysed national strategies and policy documents on AI across Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines from March to September 2022 so as to review how these biases were taken into consideration and how policy might benefit more from a gender-focussed lens. The overall aim of the report is to inform gender-sensitive AI policy development in each of the focus countries and more broadly in Southeast Asia.

This report was written by a team led by Eleonore Fournier-Tombs (UNU Macau) composed of JeongHyun Lee (UNU Macau) and Arthit Suriyawongkul (ADAPT SFI Research Centre); Preeti Raghunath (University of Monash in Malaysia); Matthew Dailey, Joyee S. Chatterjee, Philippe Doneys, Wanchanok Sunthorn and Sirayuth Thongprasert (Asia Institute of Technology); Kris Villanueva (Government of the Philippines); and Febroza Belda (Indonesia).

Access the full report here.