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More than 200 groups, including civil organizations, researchers, and journalists, have written to major tech company CEOs, urging them to take action to ensure truthful online content and safeguard democratic processes. The letter that went out to the CEOs of Discord, Google, Instagram, Meta, TikTok, X, YouTube, Pinterest, Reddit, Snap, Rumble, and Twitch, coincides with upcoming elections in over 60 countries in 2024. The Impact Of Online Discourse On Democracy “Research illustrates that individual users can have an outsized impact on online discourse, which results in real-world harms, such as the rise of extremism and violent attempts to overthrow democratic

Google and Apple are potentially joining forces to integrate Google’s chatbot technology, Gemini, into every iPhone amid controversies surrounding its promotion of diversity. Google’s Gemini The two tech giants are discussing licensing parts of Google’s Gemini bot for the iPhone’s built-in AI tools, such as its Siri assistant. Bloomberg reported that Google’s shares surged 6.6% following the news. The move comes after Gemini was criticized for generating images of historical figures that inaccurately represented their genders and ethnicities. The backlash prompted Google to pause the image generation tool. The potential partnership also raises questions of privacy

Jalon Hall, Google’s only Black Deaf employee, has claimed mistreatment and discrimination at the company and has filed a lawsuit. Hall’s Story As reported by the WIRED, in 2020, Hall, an enthusiastic criminal justice master’s graduate, was surprised to receive a LinkedIn message about a job opportunity at Google. Despite her initial skepticism, the offer was genuine, and Hall was soon hired to join Wolverine, a new in-house team tasked with moderating YouTube videos.  Her journey to this role was untraditional, as her previous job was at a law firm, where she delved

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia sided with major tech giants in a case concerning the alleged use of child labor in cobalt mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).  According to Reuters, in a unanimous 3-0 decision, the court ruled that these companies, including Apple and Tesla, cannot be held liable for their involvement in cobalt sourcing. Cobalt sourcing is critical in producing lithium-ion batteries essential for numerous electronics and electric vehicles. The Lawsuit The lawsuit, brought forward by former child miners and

Google’s latest AI tool, Gemini, designed to create diverse images, has been temporarily stopped after sparking controversy over its depiction of historical figures.  AI Tool Gemini Gemini was made to create realistic images based on users’ descriptions in a similar manner to OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Like other models, it is trained not to respond to dangerous or hateful prompts and to introduce diversity into its outputs. However, users reported that Gemini, in its attempt to avoid racial bias, often generated images with historically inaccurate representations of gender and ethnicity. For example,

The 2024 Allstate HBCU Legacy Bowl Career Fair is set to open doors of tech opportunities for students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Scheduled for February 22nd and 23rd at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, the event is specifically designed to bridge the gap between graduation and careers for HBCU students. Opening Avenues In Tech And Beyond The HBCU Legacy Bowl Fair is an initiative presented by the New Orleans Saints. The exclusive event is limited to juniors, seniors, and recent graduates (classes of 2022,

Google has announced its cloud region in Johannesburg, South Africa, is operational, the first on the continent. Africa’s internet economy is estimated to reach $180 billion by 2025, accounting for 5.2% of the continent’s gross domestic product. Google alone has committed $1 billion to boost Africa’s digital transformation, recognizing that critical drivers of the continent’s growth will include investing in infrastructure, nurturing the growing tech talent pool, and enabling a vibrant startup ecosystem. Now, a year after the company picked Johannesburg as its first African site, the cloud region is

Google has purchased Edlyft’s AI tutor – a generative AI co-pilot for college students studying computer science. Erika Hairston and Arnelle Ansong, two long-time friends, founded Edlyft in 2020 to support Black college students and adults enrolled in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses. Their digital platform connects learners to inclusive mentorship, online group tutoring, live and recorded sessions, and personalized study tools, enabling them to succeed in their classes and secure high-paying jobs. Over the past two years, Edlyft collaborated with Google through their Google Tech Exchange, teaching applied data structures to Historically

After making pledges following the murder of George Floyd in 2020, companies such as Google have cut back on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives and hiring. Following Floyd’s murder in 2020, companies set pledges to prioritize DEI. Between June and August 2020, there was a 55% increase in corporate DEI roles, and leading corporations pledged $12.3 billion to fight racism. Google, in particular, aimed to improve the representation of underrepresented groups in leadership by 30% by 2025 and address representation issues in hiring, retention, and promotions. Over the last year, however,

In 2023, the tech industry witnessed both advancements and persistent challenges concerning the experiences of Black and Brown individuals. Some companies are making strides in diversity and inclusion efforts, incorporating initiatives such as mentorship programs and targeted hiring practices. However, the sector has grappled with the complex intersection of artificial intelligence (AI) issues and ongoing legal battles against affirmative action.  Concerns regarding biased algorithms and AI systems perpetuating discrimination have prompted discussions about the ethical use of technology in hiring and workplace practices.  However, no matter how good or bad

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