Avoiding Bias in AI

Combating inequality in data, gender and socioeconomics

(Google DeepMind, pexels)

When: 7 March 2023, 13.00-17.00h
Where: Auditorium Felix Frey, sitem-insel, Freiburgstrasse 3

Speaker Slides

Time Subject Speaker
13:00h Welcome and Introduction Prof. Dr. phil. Virginia Richter,
Designated Rector University of Bern
13:20h Bias in Health Data. Aspects to Consider in our Models. Dr. sc. Enriqueta Vallejo-Yagüe,
Pharmacoepidemiologist, Bern Institut für Hausarztmedizin (BIHAM)
14.00h Bias in Medicine? Gender Bias in Oncology. PD Dr. med. et phil. Berna Özdemir,
Senior Physician, Oncology Inselspital
14.45h Coffee Break
15.15h Access to Care: MedTech as Equalizer. Dr. ing. Serife Seda Kucur,
Co-Founder and CTO, PeriVision
16.00h Keynote
Is No Bias AI Possible? From Machine Learning to Machine Reasoning.
Saniye Gülser Corat, DBA
Former Director for Gender Equality at UNESCO
Founder of the global think tank NoBiasAI
16.55h Closing Words Stavroula Mougiakakou, ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research
Inti Zlobec, Institute of Tissue Medicine and Pathology
17.00h Networking Apéro

Virginia Richter

Virginia Richter will take up the position of Rector of the University of Bern on 1 August 2024. She currently is Vice Rector for Development at the University of Bern and since September 2007 she has held the Chair of Modern English Literature.

She studied English Literature, Comparative Literature, and German Literature at the University of Munich. She was a doctoral fellow on the "Gender and Literature" graduate studies programme and manager of the "Postcolonial Studies" graduate studies programme.

During her academic career, Virginia Richter has been a Visiting Fellow at the KIASH, University of Kent at Canterbury (2004), Visiting Scholar at the University of Leeds (2006), Visiting Professor in English at the University of Göttingen and in Comparative Literature at the University of Munich as well as Visiting Research Fellow at the IASH, University of Edinburgh (2018). At the University of Bern, she was Head of the Department of English (2008-10 and 2019-2021), President of the Institute of Advanced Study (IASH) and its interdisciplinary Graduate School (2010-12 and 2014-15), and Vice Dean (2012-14). She was Dean of the Humanities from 2014-17. She is also President of the Forum für Universität und Gesellschaft (FUG), dedicated to furthering the dialogue between the university and society.Her research interests include Victorian and modernist literature and culture, literature and science, literary animal studies, and the beach in modern literature.

Saniye Gülser Corat

Saniye Gülser Corat is the founder of NoBiasAI?, a global think launched in 2022 with dual objectives: to reflect on a possible paradigm shift in AI from data-driven machine learning (ML) to knowledge-based machine reasoning (MR) and to develop gender audit tools to address gender bias in ML algorithms and datasets.

She served as Director for Gender Equality at UNESCO from September 2004 to August 2020. There, she launched special campaigns and programs for girls’ secondary education, girls’ education in STEM, digital gender gap, safety of women journalists, gender-sensitive media training and the advancement of women in science. She successfully led change at UNESCO, convincing the 195 member states to recognize gender equality as a global priority for the organization, and achieving gender parity among senior leadership in 2017 that stood at a mere 9% when she joined UNESCO.

Gülser led the landmark 2019 study "I’d Blush if I Could: Closing Gender Divides in Digital Skills in Education" which found widespread inadvertent gender bias in the most popular artificial intelligence tools for consumers and business. This report sparked a global conversation with the technology sector, culminating in a keynote address at the 2019 Web Summit in Lisbon, the largest global technology conference and interviews with more than 600 media outlets around the world, - including the BBC, CNN, CBS, NYT, The Guardian, Forbes, Time.

Prior to joining UNESCO, Gülser was the CEO of a global development consulting company (ECI Consulting, Inc.) based in Ottawa, Canada. In that capacity, she led development projects in over 30 countries. In parallel, she taught graduate seminars at Carleton University and the University of Ottawa.

Gülser graduated from Robert College and Bogazici University in Turkey. She holds graduate degrees from the College of Europe, Belgium and Carleton University, Canada as well as post-graduate degrees from Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School, USA. She speaks Turkish, English and French.

She is a TED and international keynote speaker and a member of Women Executives on Boards and Extraordinary Women on Boards.

Enriqueta Vallejo-Yagüe

Enriqueta Vallejo-Yagüe, Dr sc., is a postdoctoral researcher and team leader in the Interprofessional Primary Care Research team. Her postdoctoral research focuses on sex and gender in healthcare. She is passionate about implementing the sex and gender dimensions in health research and practice, aiming to increase the knowledge on the female body from the medical and pharmacological perspective, and to tackle gender bias. Additionally, at BIHAM, she coordinates a study aiming to improve medication use.

She studied pharmacy at the Complutense University of Madrid (2012), and trained at the Careggi University Hospital, Florence. She conducted pharmaceutical research and development at Synovo GmbH (2012-2018), being the project research leader of the European-funded project VISION, and the responsible person for the company’s orphan drugs. She undertook a Master in Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacovigilance by the University of Alcala and conducted the master thesis at the Medical School Twente (2018), Eschende. She gained her doctoral degree in pharmacoepidemiology at ETH Zurich, under the supervision of Prof. Andrea M. Burden (2022). Her doctoral research focussed on developing real-world evidence on immune mediated diseases, with attention to obesity and sex. She is the founder of Wall of Scientists, awarded the 2022 ETH Diversity Award.

Berna Özdemir

Berna Özdemir, PD Dr med et phil, is Attending Physician at Inselspital, Universitätsspital Bern. Her clinical focus are precision oncology and immunooncology and the impact on sex and ethnicity on cancer incidence and mortality. She is currently comparing different next generation sequencing (NGS) panels for their clinical utility and investigating sex differences in toxicity and efficacity of anticancer therapies.

Berna is a physician scientist, who is active as a clinician since 2013. She completed her training as a medical oncologist in 2018. Her focus is precision oncology and immunotherapy and she is studying the impact of sex and gender on cancer risk and patient outcome. In fact, although sex is one of the most important factors influencing disease risk and response to treatment, the patient’s sex is usually not taken into account in clinical decision making. The approximately 10% higher body fat, greater plasma volume and organ perfusion found in women affects pharmacokinetics, especially the distribution and onset of drug action resulting in a higher female susceptibility to the toxicity of different types of drugs.
Berna therefore thinks that sex, besides age, race and organ function is an independent modulator of drug efficacy and toxicity and merits consideration for individualization of treatments. She is interested in developing sex-dependent dosing of treatment schemes and cancer prevention approaches.

Serife Kucur Ergunay

Şerife Seda Kucur Ergünay is CTO & Co-Founder of PeriVision, a startup dedicated to leveraging the power of VR, AI and the cloud to help eye doctors save vision. Serife holds a BSc. in Telecommunication Engineering from Istanbul Technical University, a MSc. in Information & Communication Technologies from École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) where she obtained an EPFL Excellence Scholarship for Master Studies. She then obtained a PhD. in Biomedical Engineering from the ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering at the University of Bern.

During more than six years of PhD and postdoctoral research, she focused on applying AI to ophthalmology and perimetry data. For her translational research she has been granted a BRIDGE proof-of-concept grant by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNCF). She has published multiple journal articles with leading clinicians and perimetry experts and presented her innovations at high-caliber scientific conferences such as the annual meetings of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) and the International Perimetry Society (PIS). Her startup PeriVision was awarded EUR 1.5M along with specific coaching at the prestigious 2021 European EIT Wild Card challenge (news Startup Ticker / ARTORG Center).


Thank you for registering here to join us.

Looking forward to welcoming you!

This event is hosted at the Swiss Institute for Translational and Entrepreneurial Medicine, sitem-insel, on the ground floor.

Can AI Truly be Fair?

Does Artificial Intelligence necessarily reproduce or even amplify bias in training data? Can AI have its own "blind spots" just like humans do? And: Can machine learning overcome gender bias in medicine and provide equal access to care?

This afternoon is designed to scrutinize the way Artificial Intelligence is today being developed and implemented - specifially in healthcare. With our keynote speaker who is amongst the most influential people in gender policy, we are even taking one step further questioning if data-driven machine learning is still the right paradigm to operate with.

Be curious, be surprised and be inspired by life science, medicine, engineering, educational and societal viewpoints of our (this time) exclusively female speakers line-up!

This event is part of the "Women who start up" series of the University of Bern.
Organizers are the ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research and the Center for AI in Medicine, under whose initiative "Diversity for AI in Medicine" the event also runs.
All genders welcome!