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MissJourney counteracts generative AI's gender bias

DALL-E, Stable Diffusion or Midjourney: ask a generative AI tool to visualize a professional, and the majority of results will feature men. Just in time for International Women's Day, creative agency ACE introduced MissJourney, an alternative text-to-image generator that only produces images of women.

ACE asked three AI image generators to visualize 100 common occupations and characters. For 2,000 prompts entered, fewer than 20% of resulting images were of women. MissJourney, developed in partnership with TEDxAmsterdam Women, imagines an alternate reality in which representation is dominated by women, not men. 

On MissJourney, whether a user requests an image of a lawyer, an accountant or a plumber: every result depicts a woman. In a disclaimer, the concept's creators recognize that diversity goes beyond gender. They're launching for International Women's Day to raise awareness about gender bias, aiming to inspire other teams to build genuinely inclusive tech that's representative of all of society.

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Gender stereotypes are stubborn. To help empower women, brands need to work on erasing centuries of bias — and on preventing imbalance from seeping into new modes of expression.

As Amber Haank, Strategy Director at ACE, explains: "Artificial intelligence is becoming an increasingly important part of our daily lives; it's a whole new world we are collectively building. So why not get it right first time and say goodbye to old-fashioned stereotypes? If we build an inclusive digital reality right from the start, we won't have to correct it later."