Meet-up Creative Coding Utrecht
We presented our work in progress to makers, educators, and people working in tech during a Creative Coding Utrecht meet-up, along with our process and insights so far. Because the project is still in progress, input helps the project evolve and be enriched by other people’s perspectives and critical look.
Overall, our project was well-received, with people appreciating the issue and its relevance. We received some useful and insightful input. To begin, we must be aware of implicit bias and add nuance to the work. We explained that the tech industry lacks femininity since there is a lack of women (15.6 per cent women in tech, in the Netherland, CBS, 2021). Gender is not black and/or white, according to the feedback we got, and by introducing nuance to our work, this could help. Another opinion was that not all workplaces where men make up the majority of the employees are unpleasant and that certain workplaces are lovely to work in, and that male collages are pleasant to work with. And the ‘worry’ was that it wouldn’t appear so with our project. Another comment, on our observation that a father plays a vital part in a daughter’s life; was also acknowledged during the meetup. We received comments and questions concerning the end product’s presentation; it was unclear how we would convey the final AI-generated story. What’s the connection between AI and virtual reality? And who is the intended audience for the final product, as well as whether VR is sufficiently accessible? The following stage caught people’s interest in general.
Several things were evident to us as a result of the meet-input. We need to clarify a few things, primarily our motives and methodology, as well as give the project additional complexity. Let’s unpack the above. With this project, we want to showcase women’s perspectives on working in the tech industry by merging all the interviews into one AI-generated narrative to create awareness of the lack of women/femininity in tech. We understand that gender is not black and white, that femininity and masculinity aren’t either. For our project, we decided to choose a focus, and our focus was on individuals who identify as female and have work experience in tech. By bringing more nuance into the project, and by adding quotes from the interviews, to the AI-generated text, we will show that there is a different meaning to the output, where it came from and the many ways it can be interpreted.
We use AI mostly because we want to convey the story in a unique and creative way. It also demonstrates the women’s stories’ alignment, and it would become an anonymous story that does not actually belong to anyone. It’s a gathering that allows for personal interpretation. Furthermore, reading that story will need less effort, and it will hopefully create greater awareness, as opposed to reading a report or paper, as it may reach a different audience. To convey this story, VR will provide an immersive experience, also by using audio and visual components, and it will then leave a stronger impression. We’ll use webVR because it’s more user-friendly. The Louvre Online Tour, for example, allows users to digitally stroll around the Louvre and explore its masterpieces. Viewers do not need VR glasses to explore the area; all they need is a browser. Of course, VR glasses will enhance the experience, but they are not required.
Lastly, this AI and VR story is for individuals who work in tech, so that they may relate to it. We also seek to raise gender awareness among boards, companies, governments, and other entities by focusing on the gender gap and the resulting consciousnesses.
We’ll next generate more AI text and ‘write’ the story, visualize it in a virtual reality environment, and test it before releasing it. In addition, we will perform a thorough analysis of the data, conduct more background studies on femininity and masculinity by consulting various sources and speaking with experts in the field.
We’d like to thank Creative Coding Utrecht for hosting the meet-up, as well as everyone who attended, provided constructive criticism, and, most importantly, all of the participants we’ve spoken with thus far.
The project ends in November/December 2021.
Curious about our project or do you have questions/remarks or do you know a woman in Tech who might be interested in talking to us? Feel free to contact us at julia @ yingemis.nl or rhied @ yingemis.nl
The research is non-commercial and subsidized by the Stimuleringsfonds, Digital Culture.