UNESCO produced in collaboration with EQUALS Skills Coalition listed a set of recommendations designed to promote gender equality and eliminate stereotypes in AI applications.

The new publication advises companies and governments to end the practice of making digital assistants female by default, explore the feasibility of developing a gender neutral “machine gender” voice assistants and program digital assistants to discourage gender-based insults and abusive language, according to the “I’d Blush if I Could” report.

“Today 12 percent of AI researchers are women. Women represent only six percent of software developers and are 13 times less likely to file ICT (information and communication technology) patents than men,” researchers said.

In addition the publication encourages interoperability so that users can change digital assistants as desired, require that operators of AI-powered voice assistants announce the technology as non-human, and develop the advanced technical skills of women and girls so they can steer the creation of new technologies alongside men.