From Intersectional AI Toolkit

Intersectional AI A-to-Z[edit]

This glossary of terms for Intersectional AI A-to-Z is a great place to get started. By all means it's only one example of definitions for these complex ideas, and it is meant as an open invitation for conversations and amendments! These concepts show the complexity of the topic seen from multiple angles; yet it is so important to try to break down these concepts into plain language in order to offer more openings for folks to join these conversations. Please chime in, ask questions, help make these definitions better!

This glossary also would not be possible without the careful thought from other glossaries which inform it, including Studio Pathways, A People's Guide to AI, ...

artificial intelligence[edit]

There is no agreed definition of AI, but in general the ability to perform tasks without supervision and to learn so as to improve performance are key parts of AI (Ethics of AI). Even AI researchers have no exact definition of AI. The field is rather being constantly redefined when some topics are classified as non-AI, and new topics emerge (Elements of AI). No matter their context or complexity, AI tools are always socio-technical systems, meaning they are designed, operated, and influenced by humans, rather than entirely autonomous, neutral systems.

bias (implicit)[edit]

"The assumptions, stereotypes, and unintentional actions (positive or negative) we make towards others based on identity labels like race, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, or ability. [...] we may act on our biases without even realizing it. Often, our implicit biases contradict our values." –Love Has No Labels

They are embedded in and often amplified by digital tools, because computation replicates, speeds up, and compounds all-too-human decision-making.

“Implicit bias, also known as hidden bias, refers to the numerous ways in which we organize patterns “thus creating real-world implications.” Exposure to structural and cultural racism has enabled stereotypes and biases to penetrate deep into our psyches. Implicit bias is one part of the system of inequity that serves to justify racist policies, practices and behaviors that persist in mainstream culture and narratives. Current research on implicit bias also provides some promise that individual neural associations can be changed through specific practices (debiasing). If those biases can be changed at the individual level, by definition, they can be changed at the societal level, given sufficient will and investment. Since some biases are unconscious, it may contribute to individuals shirking responsibility rather than actively disrupting the behavior. It is critical for implicit bias to be discussed in the context of how bias, racism, and privilege operate together and systemically.” – Racial Equity Tools, via Studio Pathways Glossary[1]

code of conduct[edit]

Usually written together by a group, these guidelines outline expectations for behavior and procedures for when members of a community don't meet those expectations. While some argue for structureless, free-speech zones online, many counter that a lack of guidelines highlights power dynamics existing in broader culture. –Christina Dunbar-Hester[2]

data colonialism[edit]

ethical AI[edit]

or epidermalization, embodiment, emotion?


FLOSS stands for Free Libre Open Source Software and represents ...



Attitudes and behaviors that incorrectly assume gender is binary, ignoring genders besides women and men, and that people should and will align with conventional expectations of society for gender identity, gender expression, and sexual and romantic attraction. –UC Davis LGTBQIA Resource Center,[3] cited by Studio Pathways Glossary[1]


&/or intelligence (situated, embodied knowledge)


justice, transformative[edit]

Kimberlé Crenshaw[edit]

Lovelace, Ada[edit]


Social marginalization is social disadvantage and relegation to the fringe of society. Marginalized communities are those which are prevented from participating fully in the economic, social, and political life of the society in which they live. –Mimi Onuoha and Mother Cyborg (Diana Nucera), A People's Guide to AI[4]





queer OS[edit]

queering/queer theory


racism, race as a technology

Structural Racism: A system in which public policies, institutional practices, cultural representations, and other norms work in mutually reinforcing ways to perpetuate racial group inequity. A structural analysis of racism identifies dimensions of our history and culture that have allowed privileges associated with “whiteness” and disadvantages associated with “color” to endure and adapt over time. Structural racism is not something that a few people or institutions choose to practice. Instead it is a feature of the social, economic and political systems in which we all exist. –Mimi Onuoha and Mother Cyborg (Diana Nucera), A People's Guide to AI[4]

"Processes of racialization begin by attributing racial meaning to people's identity and, in particular, as they relate to social structures and institutional systems, such as housing, employment, and education." – Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, and Society, via Studio Pathways[1]



trans rights, transfeminism, transhumanism, Turing tests



white supremacy[edit]

or white feminism?


vs yt feminism?




publishing practices


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Studio Pathways
  2. Dunbar-Hester, C. 2020. Hacking Diversity. Princeton UP.
  3. UC Davis LGBTQIA Resource Center
  4. 4.0 4.1 Onuoha, Mimi and Mother Cyborg (Diana Nucera). 2018. [A People's Guide to AI.]