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AI

Beauty-tech company Myavana has announced a new retail partnership with retailer Ulta Beauty, along with investments from Prisma Ventures and BrainTrustFund. Myavana is the brainchild of computer scientist Candace Mitchell Harris. Harris founded the company in 2012 with the aim of revolutionizing personal and professional textured hair care through data-driven science and technology. With a deep understanding of the unique hair challenges of women of color and women with textured hair faces, Myavana introduced a suite of innovative textured hair care science and technology products. Read: Myavana Taps AI To Personalize WOC’s Hair Solutions Elevating

Former Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal has reportedly raised $30 million in funding for his artificial intelligence startup. Agrawal was the first Indian-origin CEO of Twitter – now X but was ousted from his position following Elon Musk’s $44 billion takeover in 2022. Who is Parag Agrawal? Born in Rajasthan, India, Agrawal immigrated to the US to complete his PhD in computer science at Stanford University. After joining Twitter as a software engineer in 2011, Agrawal worked his way up to the position of Chief Technology Officer for just under a

Y Combinator-backed startup DryMerge has launched its platform that uses AI to write event-driven workflows for developers, businesses, and their customers. Edward Frazer and Samuel Brashears co-founded the startup to address the problems they faced as engineers and founders. In addition to engineering challenges, the pair found that many repetitive operational processes required coordination between SaaS tools and internal infrastructure. This inspired them to build DryMerge to make building solutions for these things as easy as explaining the problem. As easy as a conversation with a co-worker DryMerge uses AI

Black-owned startup Robin AI has raised $26 million in new funding for its next growth and global expansion phase. RobinAI The AI-driven contract editor is the brainchild of former Clifford Chance lawyer Richard Robinson and former machine learning research scientist James Clough. Founded in 2019, Robin AI uses generative AI to automate and speed up the process of drafting and negotiating contracts and extracting information from across entire contract repositories through simple search. The startup trained its machine learning model on data from 4.5 million legal documents with input from in-house lawyers to create

The StoryGraph, a Black woman-owned cataloging web platform for books, took to X, formerly Twitter, announcing they have had to take their platform offline to upgrade its servers. The StoryGraph The StoryGraph, founded by Nadia Odunayo, is a competitor of Amazon-owned social cataloging platform Goodreads as it uses a freemium model, with some features only available in a subscription plan. Founded in 2019, StoryGraph was initially a side project for tracking books. After studying at Oxford University, Odunayo went into the world of software engineering but, in 2019, decided to work

To commemorate the 30th anniversary of The Notorious B.I.G.’s debut single “Juicy”, Warner Music Group (WMG) has collaborated with The Sandbox, a leading decentralized gaming virtual world. Together, they are bringing the iconic hip-hop artist to life in today’s virtual world through the Metaverse experience “Breakin’ B.I.G.” as a nod to the beloved side-scrolling games of the 1990s. Breakin’ B.I.G. Notorious B.I.G. released his debut album “Ready to Die” 30 years ago, which featured the song Juicy, selling 6 million copies and is widely regarded as one of the greatest

This year’s top stories reflect the challenges, opportunities, and dynamic changes in the tech industry and broader society.  Unsurprisingly, many of these years’ top stories concern the boom in generative AI, from developing the “BlackGPT” to concerns around the historical and present-day harms and philosophies underpinning AI developments. We’ve also shared stories of Black innovation, Latine entrepreneurship, workplace wins and challenges, collective triumph, and personal tragedy. Here are the ten stories that resonated with you, our POCIT readers, the most this year. 10. Cash App’s Appeal in the Black Community

Orka, a Chicago-based health tech firm, is redefining the hearing aid industry with its innovative Orka hearing aid.  Founded in 2018 by Ben Sun, Chauncey Lu, Linkai Li, and Xinke Liu, Orka aims not only to enhance hearing but also to make hearing aids as user-friendly and desirable as AirPods. Birthed from personal experience During a family visit to China in 2017, Ben Sun, CEO, observed his grandmother struggling with her hearing. He told Forbes that after spending $1000 on hearing aids for her, she stopped using them after a

Implementing artificial intelligence (AI) in the workplace could widen the racial wealth gap between Black and white households in the US by $43 billion, research has suggested. McKinsey & Co. stated that generative AI (gen AI) has initiated a seismic shift in work and value creation. When this happens, and a new technology appears, it can create or exacerbate divides, including the racial wealth gap. They explored how many gen AI may affect Black communities and Black workers. A Divide In Black And White Households The research found that new

The University of Washington’s recent study on Stable Diffusion, a popular AI image generator, reveals concerning biases in its algorithm.  The research, led by doctoral student Sourojit Ghosh and assistant professor Aylin Caliskan, was presented at the 2023 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing and published on the pre-print server arXiv. The Three Key Issues The report picked up on three key issues and concerns surrounding Stable Diffusion, including gender and racial stereotypes, geographic stereotyping, and the sexualization of women of color. Gender and Racial Stereotypes The AI

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