Ylva Habel (Antirasistiska akademin): "The Power of Word Choice"

October 1st, 4.20 pm CET

Ylva Habel © Ylva Habel
If we claim that language and word choice are part of a living, changing process, we are of course stating the obvious. Yet, today, in a world context that is characterised by counter-intersectional backlash, it has become increasingly important to shed light upon the many ways in which problematic, discriminatory and hateful language seep into public discourse and word choice.  

In her short lecture, Ylva Habel will draw attention to some of the most recurrent examples of this seepage and discuss some of the growing problems that can be observed in everyday translations within mainstream culture and media.  

Antirasistiska akademin (Antiracist Academy, ArA) is a Swedish non-profit organisation whose aim it is to combat racism in the scientific community and in all activities of universities, colleges and research institutions. With this focus, the organisation's work will result in participation in the broad anti-racist work that is going on throughout society. The organisation has published an “antiracist dictionary” freely available on the internet: Antirasistiska ordbok


Dagmar Gromann (University of Vienna) & Manuel Lardelli: “Gender-Fair Language and Language Technology (GenderFairMT)”

October 2nd, 1.30 pm CET 

Dagmar Gromann © Dagmar Gromann
Language is a vehicle of thought and for social change. To facilitate an inclusive social reality, gender bias in language use should be addressed beyond a binary conception of gender (male/female). We are particularly interested in debiased language use in professional translation and language technology. To take first steps in this direction, we organized a three-day workshop with people from the non-binary and queer community, professional translators, and language technology experts with a particular focus on machine translation. Furthermore, we invited experts from each group to a panel discussion on gender-fair language and language technology. In this talk, we will provide a brief introduction to the topic of gender-fair language and translation and present the results from the three-day interactive workshop and the panel discussion on strategies for gender-fair language and language technology for German. 

Dagmar Gromann is a Computer Scientist and Linguist; Assistant Professor Tenure-Track at the Centre for Translation Studies, University of Vienna. 
Dagmar Gromann

Manuel Lardelli holds an MA in Specialised Translation and Language Industry from the University of
Vienna. He is currently University Assistant (pre-doc) at the University of Graz's Institute of
Translation Studies and research associate for the GenderFairMT project under the lead of
Dagmar Gromann.

His research focuses on both human and automated translation of non-binary language.

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Danielle Saunders: “Gender and Bias in Machine Translation”

October 2nd, 5 pm 

Danielle Saunders © Danielle Saunders
Machine translation can be a useful tool, but it can also make startling errors. When those errors coincide with social stereotypes, we may have a bias problem.  

This talk will discuss why gender can be difficult for machine translation, and the ways bias can become part of a system. We will then look at the possibilities for improving gender translation, both those explored so far and those that remain challenging. 

Danielle Saunders is a Research Scientist working on machine translation at RWS. Her main research interest is in controlling translation system behaviour for unexpected or unusual language. Her PhD at the University of Cambridge explored how machine translation can be adapted to new types of language. 
Danielle Saunders

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Sheila Beladinejad (Women in AI & Robotics): "Why do we need diversity in AI? And how can it lead to economic growth?"

October 3rd, 4.15 pm

Sheila Beladinejad © Sheila Beladinejad
Gender disparity in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics is a critical issue impacting the socio-economical state of our societies. I will shed light on the criticality of the problem and cover practical steps individuals, corporations, and nonprofit organizations can make to reduce the gap, foster innovation, and drive economic growth. 

Women in AI & Robotics: Women in AI & Robotics Germany is a network of experts and professionals in Artificial Intelligence & Robotics, working towards gender-inclusive, ethical, and responsible solutions that benefit society. Their mission is to close the gender gap in AI & Robotics and increase female representation and participation through advocacy, events, workshops, mentorship, education, hackathons, and startup accelerator programs. They are a German non-profit organization headquartered in Munich. 
Women in AI and Robotics

Sheila Beladinejad is the founder and CEO of O Canada Tech & President of Women in AI & Robotics.  

As a software engineer with a degree in Computer Science & Industrial Engineering and over 20 years of experience in technology, she has worked on major initiatives in the telecommunication industry responsible for launching new products and services at a global level.    

Additionally, Sheila has expertise in conducting technical due diligence during the Merger and Acquisition process for investors. She helps Private Equity firms and Venture Capitalists evaluate the software side of the target companies of interest and provide risk mitigation assessments, often including a post-closure technical roadmap. She has worked on multi-million-dollar acquisitions in Europe, Canada, and the United States, evaluating and assessing the target companies' software architecture, artificial intelligence, infrastructure, scalability, and agility.   

As the President of the Women in AI & Robotics (W.AI.R.) association in 2021, Sheila has committed to reducing the gender gap in AI & Robotics at the UN Women's Generation Equality Forum (ActForEquality). This act is explicitly targeting SDG Goal 5, Gender Equality. Sheila is dedicated to increasing women's representation in AI & Robotics through building a strong network of support from experts in our communities, advocacy, education, mentorship, and startup accelerator programs. 

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