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Operation HOPE and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman have launched an AI Ethics Council to help ensure marginalized poplations and people of color are included in the AI developments. The announcement comes amid criticisms of OpenAI, Meta, and other major players in the AI space lacking diversity on their boards and decision-making bodies. A Historic Partnership According to a press release, OpenAI’s partnership with Operation HOPE, a leading nonprofit dedcated to financial literacy for underserved communities, began with a listening tour at Clark Atlanta University in spring 2024. During this tour,

The world’s first artificial intelligence beauty pageant from has crowned its inaugural winner, Kenza Layli from Morocco. The competition, organized by the World AI Creator Awards, showcased AI-generated models vying for the title of Miss AI.  Layli, an AI-generated activist and influencer, won from a pool of over 1,500 contestants, winning a prize package worth over $13,000. AI Influencer Kenza Layli Layli, known for engaging content and activism, has over 193,000 Instagram followers. Her digital persona is dedicated to empowering women in Morocco and the Middle East.  Her creator, Meriam

Nigeria’s National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has unveiled plans to establish research centers for emerging technologies across the country’s six geopolitical zones. The technologies include Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), and blockchain, aimed to build a technology research ecosystem. Fostering Innovation and Development Kashifu Inuwa, Director General of NITDA, announced the initiative at the IoT West Africa Conference held in Lagos.  Represented by Aristotle Onumo, NITDA’s Director of Corporate Planning and Strategy, Inuwa emphasized that the new research centers align with the agency’s mission to support technological

AI and satellite imagery are being used to fight spatial apartheid in South Africa, exposing stark inequalities and driving systemic change. According to MIT Technology Review, Raesetje Sefala, a 28-year-old researcher from Limpopo, South Africa, is at the forefront of using AI and satellite imagery to combat spatial apartheid. Growing up in a township, Sefala witnessed firsthand the disparities between Black townships and affluent white neighborhoods.  Now, she’s using cutting-edge technology to address these injustices. Unearthing Spatial Inequities In collaboration with computer scientists Nyalleng Moorosi and Timnit Gebru at the

The US National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced an investment to enhance diversity and inclusion within the artificial intelligence (AI) research community.  The NSF has allocated $10 million in grants to seven innovative projects in collaboration with the Departments of Homeland Security, Agriculture, Defense, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.  These initiatives aim to strengthen AI research and education at minority-serving institutions (MSIs), including historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). A Diverse AI Research Community The new round of ExpandAI awards is a strategic move to cultivate a

Morgan Freeman recently addressed a viral TikTok video that misused his voice using artificial intelligence (AI).  The video, which garnered significant attention, was created by a user named “Justine’s Camera Roll” and was later reshared on X (formerly known as Twitter) by “JahelisWasHere.”  With 16.5 million views, the video falsely appeared to feature Freeman narrating a vacation clip.  Freeman, however, took to X to clarify that he had no involvement and labeled the video a “scam.” Viral AI Video Sparks Controversy The controversial TikTok video starts with what seems to

The city of Detroit has agreed to pay $300,000 to Robert Williams, a Black man wrongly arrested for shoplifting due to flawed facial recognition technology.  As part of the settlement, the city will also make changes to how police use facial recognition software when making arrests. A Case of Mistaken Identity Robert Williams’ wrongful arrest stems from a misidentification by facial recognition software. According to The Guardian, the software incorrectly matched Williams’ driver’s license photo to a suspect seen in a 2018 security video from a Shinola watch store.  Despite

TestParty, a Black-led, AI-driven software compliance company, has raised $4 million in a seed funding round led by Harlem Capital and the Urban Innovation Fund.  Founded in March 2023 by Michael Bervell and Jason Tan, TestParty helps businesses automatically rewrite source code to comply with global digital accessibility regulations. Making websites more accessible Currently, nearly all popular websites fail to meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), leaving millions of people who rely on assistive devices unable to engage with the digital world. TestParty aims to bridge this gap by

The Google for Startups Founders Fund is back for the fifth year and is funding 20 Black and Latine AI companies in the US. The fund first launched as part of Google’s $175 million commitment towards racial equity and to date has deployed more than $50 million dollars to more than 570 Black and Latine founders around the world. Google For Startups Founders Fund & AI As AI developments are on the rise, this year, Google has funded 20 US-based companies that are pushing the boundaries in AI. The companies

Morehouse College is launching what is reportedly the world’s first fully spacial AI teaching assistants (TAs). After launching their Metaversity in 2021, Morehouse is taking the next step in technology-based learning. AI Teaching Assistants Muhsinah Morris, a senior assistant professor in education and metaversity director at Morehouse, pioneered the technology in Spring 2021 with faculty assistance. She will now teach a class this fall with a spatial 3D AI TA. Students can expect to receive support from the AI TAs, who will manage assessments and office hours, ensure 24/7 access,

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