Racial bias in artificial intelligence is well-documented. Just last month the ACLU published a report criticizing Amazon’s facial recognition technology (Amazon Rekognition) for racial bias after it misidentified black members of Congress as criminals. In the past, people were also able to get an AI-based social chatbot to say racial slurs, leading to an apology from Microsoft.
Having a more diverse group of people actually building the technology could help combat some of the issues AI has faced recently. That’s where Oakland based non-profit AI4ALL comes in.
AI4ALL’s primary goal is to increase diversity and inclusion in the world of artificial intelligence. It provides students with the chance to learn, first-hand, about computer science, coding and more through summer camps nationwide that spark interest and teach them fundamental skills. Last week Google.org announced it would be donating a $1 million grant to the nonprofit in order to grow the number of underrepresented minorities and women who have access to working in these spaces.
“We really need for AI to be made by diverse creators, and that starts with people having access to the learning opportunities to understand at its core what AI is and how it can be applied,” Google.org’s AI4All partnership lead Hannah Peter said to USA Today.
And with the Google.org grant, AI4All will be able to open more camps and ultimately create a free online AI course that anyone can access in order to diversify the space regardless of access.