March 2, 2023

EY Metaverse Lab Showcases AI-Enabled Art To Celebrate Black Leaders

Ernst & Young (EY) Metaverse Lab has announced that it will showcase Ancestral Archives, an interactive AI-enabled art installation created by artist-in-residence Josie Williams to spotlight the work of historic Black leaders.

The EY Metaverse Lab program brings together artists and engineers to explore some of the world’s most challenging issues. For example, Williams is a creative and ‘afro-futurist’ working to combat bias and social injustice. 

Developed in collaboration with EY Metaverse Lab and NEW INC, the metaverse art installation will leverage Williams’ digital experience to showcase how AI and the metaverse can uplift communities.   

“Ancestral Archives will show the meaningful experiences and connections that can be fostered by fusing the metaverse, AI, and the arts,” said Williams in a press release

Photo of buildings with a billboard that reads "Black Leaders of the Past are here in the Future"
Credit: Josie Williams

According to Williams, Ancestral Archives is a collection of chatbots modeled after historically significant Black leaders such as Audre Lorde, James Baldwin, and Octavia Butler.

The thoughtful, physical, and digital experience will showcase how AI and the metaverse can be used to help enrich the Black community.

“I wanted to find out what would happen if the words of Black thought leaders were the only reference point for AI. Part of what I am trying to challenge is the default preconception of whose voices are placed into these kinds of systems,” added Williams.  

The overall goal of Ancestral Archives is to connect the revolutionary leaders of the past and the activists and critical thinkers of today to a one-of-a-kind experience. 

Kumba Kpakima

Kumba Kpakima is a reporter at POCIT. A documentary about the knife crime epidemic in the UK got her a nomination for the UK's #30toWatch Young Journalists of the Year.