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Tech companies are now offering AI-powered therapy services designed to meet the specific needs of Black individuals.  The Black Female Therapist The “Black Female Therapist” (BFT), a novel AI chatbot, is part of this approach from tech companies providing accessible and tailored mental health support. BFT, developed by Youper, leverages advanced algorithms and natural language processing to offer culturally sensitive advice and empathetic responses. According to Refinery29, the chatbot addresses the emotional challenges faced by Black individuals, including systemic barriers and the need for spaces where they feel seen and

Lagos-based blockchain payments startup Zone has raised $8.5 million in an oversubscribed seed funding round. Nigerian Startup Zone Zone’s fundraising success is part of a growing trend in Africa’s fintech sector, which has recently seen companies like Cleva and Zuvy secure significant investments.  Founded in 2008 by Emeka Emetarom, Obi Emetarom, and Wale Onawunmi in Lagos, Nigeria, Zone positions itself as Africa’s first regulated payment blockchain network. Its blockchain-based decentralized payment infrastructure caters to financial service providers across the continent and beyond.  The startup has collaborated with over 15 of Africa’s top banks and fintech companies,

NASA has announced the first winners of its Space Tech Catalyst prize, which aims to engage more underrepresented and diverse individuals in space tech. The initiative is part of NASA’s broader commitment to fostering a more inclusive environment. Each Space Tech Catalyst prize winner receives $25,000 to contribute to creating a more inclusive space technology ecosystem. “As NASA continues to explore the unknown, making the impossible possible, we are committed to engaging talents from all backgrounds to advance exploration,” said Shahra Lambert, NASA’s senior advisor for engagement, in a press statement.

Nigeria, Africa’s top cryptocurrency market, is in a major dispute with Binance, one of the biggest names in the crypto world.  Nigeria’s government has intensified its crackdown on unregulated crypto activities, resulting in a serious impasse following escalating tensions between Binance and the government. Binance is one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges. Nigeria cracks down on crypto Nigeria is currently grappling with a debilitating economic crisis, with inflation soaring to nearly 30%. The Nigerian government has turned its attention to cryptocurrency in an attempt to stabilize its currency, the naira (NGN). The

Idris Elba, renowned British actor and DJ, is steering his creative process towards building a “smart eco-city” on Sherbro Island, off Sierra Leone’s coast.  Elba’s Plans According to CNN, Elba, a Sierra Leonean citizen, focuses on blending technological innovation and environmental consciousness in this project. The initiative, in collaboration with Sherbro Alliance Partners and the Sierra Leone government, is an investment venture and a heartening return to his roots, as Elba’s father hailed from Sierra Leone. Sherbro Island, approximately the size of Chicago and historically significant in the slave trade

Usher’s New Look (UNL) and IBM have embarked on a groundbreaking collaboration to foster career readiness in AI and professional workplace skills. UNL is a 501c3 organization founded by Usher Raymond IV in 1999 that supports a vision that all youth should be afforded the chance to unlock their full potential. Transforming under-resourced youth  IBM SkillsBuild is a free education program focused on underrepresented communities in tech. The partnership with UNL is set to transform the lives of thousands of high school and college students, especially those from underrepresented communities in technology. “Joining

Recent research has raised alarming concerns about covert racism in AI language models. Experts from the Allen Institute for AI, the University of Oxford, Stanford University, LMU Munich, and the University of Chicago conducted the study. It revealed that these models, including GPT4, manifest bias against African American Vernacular English (AAE) speakers.  This troubling revelation brings to light how AI can perpetuate racial stereotypes, leading to unfair and discriminatory outcomes. What Did The Study Find? The study, co-authored by Valentin Hofmann, Pratyusha Ria Kalluri, Dan Jurafsky, and Sharese King, found

Recent findings from a comprehensive review have highlighted biases in commonly used medical devices and technologies that can harm people of color. These include optical medical devices like pulse oximeters, AI-assisted devices, and polygenic risk scores (PRS) in genomics.  Biases In Medical Devices The review was initiated by the UK’s former Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Sajid Javid, and conducted by a panel of experts. “Making sure the healthcare system works for everyone, regardless of ethnicity, is paramount to our values as a nation,” Junior Health Minister Andrew Stephenson told The Guardian. “It supports our

Block Party, a startup initially centered on curbing online harassment via Twitter’s API, has undergone a significant pivot in the wake of API changes on the platform now known as X. Privacy Party Tracy Chou, a prominent software engineer and tech diversity advocate, introduced the venture’s new focus at this year’s SXSW conference in Austin.  The reinvented platform Privacy Party emerges as a solution to the complex challenge of managing privacy settings across various social networks, including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Reddit, and X. Originally, Block Party leveraged Twitter’s API to

Trez, the first U.S. Latine payroll platform company, is reshaping the financial landscape for Latine businesses in America.  Trez Recognized by notable institutions like Techstars, Forbes, Inc., and Stanford GSB, Trez provides specialized payroll, benefits, and financial services solutions. The platform is specifically designed to support the burgeoning Latine business community.  Trez emerges at a crucial time when Latine-owned businesses, contributing $500 billion in annual sales and millions of jobs, are becoming vital in the U.S. economy. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Hispanics will constitute 78% of the new workforce entrants between 2020 and

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