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AI

Latimer, named after African-American inventor Lewis Latimer, is a new platform trying to make generative AI more inclusive. Nicknamed the Black GPT, Latimer is a new large language model (LLM) built to reflect the experience, culture, and history of Black and brown people more accurately. The platform recently announced new partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to help bring the inclusive tool to students, agencies, brands, and the general public. Tackling racial bias and erasure Many generative AI models amplify the bias, inaccuracy, and erasure of Black and

Black-owned beauty-tech company Myavana is using AI to provide personalized insights and hair regimens that work for women of color. Myavana is the brainchild of computer scientist Candace Mitchell Harris. Her natural hair journey led her to seek data-driven, intelligent hair care solutions everywhere, from the lab to the Metaverse. The Science of Hair  Data reveals that Black consumers drive the global hair-care market, spending nine times more on hair-care products than other racial groups. Black women, in particular, spend about $1.7 billion annually on hair-care products. While studying computer

Spotify has launched a pilot of Voice Translation for podcasts, using OpenAI technology to translate podcasts into other languages in the original podcaster’s voice. While making English-language podcasts more accessible to global audiences, there are concerns about the growing use of AI translation and voice generation technologies.  Voice Translation Spotify announced they are piloting a new feature that translates English-spoken episodes into other languages, such as Spanish, French, and German. The feature is powered by OpenAI’s voice generation technology to clone the original podcaster’s voice. Spotify stated it would match

A coalition of 65 UK politicians and 31 leading race equality and human rights organizations have called for an “immediate stop” to live facial recognition (LFR) surveillance. The campaign, led by privacy advocate Big Brother Watch, calls for the police and private companies to stop using the technology in public spaces.   Signatories include former Shadow Attorney General Shami Chakrabarti and Liberal Democrat party leader Sir Ed Davey. Amnesty International, Institute of Race Relations, Liberty, Race Equality Foundation, and Human Rights Watch also joined the campaign.  Accessing Passport Database The call

The PGA Tour, the world’s premier membership organization for touring professional golfers, posted AI-generated headshots of their players on Instagram. While the white players appeared against gray neutral backdrops, the players of color appeared against “rugged” and delipidated backdrops, reigniting concerns over racial bias. What Happened? The PGA Tour released 12 images of players on Instagram, with the caption: “We asked AI to expand our player’s headshots… Here’s what happened.” The photos included 10 white players and 2 players of color, Tony Finau and Collin Morikawa. Finau is of Tongan

According to The Information, Meta is paying creators such as Snoop Dogg millions for AI chatbots, with the top creator making as much as $5 million over two years for six hours of work in a studio. During Meta’s Connect event in September, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Meta will be integrating new AI assistants across its social media platforms that can have human-like conversations. While the company has its own AI chatbot similar to ChatGPT, it has now introduced 28 new ones with different personalities that use celebrities’ images. These

A Latina-founded nonprofit, AIandYou, has launched a campaign to prepare young people of color and women against possible AI-generated misinformation leading up to the 2024 presidential election. AIandYou AIandYou was founded in 2019 to educate marginalized communities about artificial intelligence (AI) to help end users understand how AI impacts their daily lives. The nonprofit encourages communities to understand AI’s potential and pitfalls, providing online resources in easy-to-understand languages. Founder and CEO Susan Gonzales has years of experience in tech and policy and serves on the National AI Advisory Committee, advising

Global payments giant Visa is partnering with the UK government’s Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) to co-fund data science and AI scholarships for students from underrepresented backgrounds. The partnership stems from the UK’s National AI Strategy, which set out a vision to strengthen the UK’s position as an AI and science superpower over the coming decade. The Launch of Visa’s AI Scholarships The partnership aims to increase diversity in the technology sector, assisting women, Black students, disabled students, and those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. Visa said the scheme

Randal Quran Reid spent almost a week in jail after Louisiana police wrongly identified him using facial recognition software. He has now filed a lawsuit against them. What Happened? Reid, 28, was driving to his mother’s house for Thanksgiving when local police pulled him over and arrested him. They had used facial recognition software, and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office (JPSO) identified him as a suspect in a spate of thefts in Louisiana. Reid, however, had never set foot in Louisiana and was unaware of what Jefferson Parish was. There

Google and Howard University have announced a new partnership, Project Elevate Black Voices, to build a high-quality African-American English (AAE) speech dataset. The new partnership will allow Howard University to share the dataset with those looking to improve speech technology while establishing a framework for responsible data collection, ensuring the data benefits Black communities. Google has confirmed that the university will retain ownership of the dataset and licensing. Automatic Speech Recognition and Black People Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) technology allows humans to use their voices to speak with a computer

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