It’s no secret that artificial intelligence (AI) is currently the talk of the town.
On March 30, AfroTech is taking the topic to center stage at AfroTech Executive 2023 in Seattle, WA, where Black corporate executives, investors, and tech moguls will convene.
View this post on Instagram
Jessica O. Matthews, founder and CEO of Uncharted, and Jonnie Bradley, Acting Director and Responsible Artificial Intelligence Official at the U.S. Department of Energy, are set to discuss how to sustainably take control and maximize AI.
While AI is being utilized to advance industries, there is the danger of errors and bias on the other side of the coin. To combat such a danger, Larry Adams took action.
Adams is the founder and CEO of X_Stereotype, an AI-powered platform that analyzes content through a lens of diversity and inclusion. The company’s website describes it as “the world’s first inclusion operating system eliminating stereotypes and bias in marketing.”
Adams spoke with AfroTech about helping promote inclusion through his platform, the evolution of AI, and what ways the Black community should tap into the technology.
Editorial Note: Portions of this interview have been edited for clarity and length.
AfroTech: How would you say that your background in digital marketing and media laid the groundwork for creating the first inclusion operating system?
Larry Adams: My experience with digital product design and marketing was key to me kicking off the development of X_Stereotype. It was important in a couple of ways — one, understanding how data drives experiences, and two, understanding how to leverage large data sets to create automated decisions.
AT: How have you personally watched AI evolve in real time from when you first brainstormed X_Stereotype to its official launch?
LA: At the beginning of digital, I watched years pass before broadband became widely available. Then years passed again before mobility took over as the primary way users interacted with digital experiences. Now we’re in the AI phase, but this is different because we’re seeing changes to AI happening in months, not years. When we started 18 months ago we were explaining AI and machine learning. Now, lots of people are using generative AI and figuring out their data strategies.
AT: Your platform is all about working toward more inclusivity. However, in what specific areas of AI do you hope to see more inclusion?
LA: We use AI to scale data generated by real-life people, whose responses offer insights into emotionality, sentiment, bias, inclusion, authenticity, and purchasing intent. Our platform is helping move content creators to be more inclusive by incorporating human intelligence into training natural language processing AI models. X_Stereotype has incorporated over 4 million points of data. I hope to see more inclusion on the training level for AI so that it can continue to provide authentic, human-centric, and non-racist insights.
AT: We’ve been focusing on more of the positive impact of AI in this discussion, but can you also speak to the dangers of AI that create harmful effects?
LA: AI is only as good as its underlying data. X_Stereotype’s mission is to create data that represents all of us. By putting our experiences and points of view into the AI ecosystem, we don’t get AI that is biased and incomplete. The danger of using AI is that without human intelligence, results and decisions could be filled with errors and bias. At X_Stereotype, we are tackling removing stereotypes and bias out of the data we use to make decisions.
AT: As AI continues to make headlines, there are some skeptics who don’t see a positive influence from its usage. How does X_Stereotype hope to present itself as a platform that is a safe space for users, especially those of the Black community?
LA: AI is not going anywhere; it’s only going to be used in more and more applications. However, we will have widespread proliferation of biased information without reliably and consistently training AI with the diversity experiences + data of everyone — every racial group, and especially the Black community. For those of us among the community, it is imperative that we lean in to take an active role in the data that represents us and lead how our digital narrative is crafted.