Disney to use new 'gender bias spellcheck' technology

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Geena Davis (Credit: Mark Von Holden/Invision/AP)

Actress and gender rights advocate Geena Davis has announced a partnership with the Disney studio on new AI technology which will 'spellcheck' scripts for gender bias.

The machine learning tool, called GD-IQ: Spellcheck For Bias, has been developed by the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering, and uses artificial intelligence to auto-analyse scripts.

Davis made the announcement that her Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and the Disney studio would be working together using the tech at the Power of Inclusion Summit in New Zealand.

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“I'm very proud to announce we have a brand new partnership with Walt Disney Studios using Spell Check for Bias,” Davis said (via The Hollywood Reporter).

“They are our pilot partners and we're going to collaborate with Disney over the next year using this tool to help their decision-making, identify opportunities to increase diversity and inclusion in the manuscripts that they receive.

Geena Davis pointing a gun with two hands in a scene from the film 'Long Kiss Goodnight', 1996. (Photo by New Line Cinema/Getty Images)

“We're very excited about the possibilities with this new technology and we encourage everybody to get in touch with us and give it a try.”

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By scanning scripts, the technology can reputedly determine characters of different ethnicity, gender, sexuality and disability.

Davis reportedly added that the tool isn't intended to 'name and shame' scripts that have gender bias, but rather highlight instances of unconscious bias.

Davis, star of movies like Thelma & Louise and The Long Kiss Goodnight, founded her non-profit organisation in 2004, after becoming a mother and noting the lack of equal female representation on TV and in movies.

Since then it was has been responsible for publishing a range of large scale studies into gender imbalance in the media.