Davar Ardalan is the Founder and Storyteller in chief at IVOW AI, building cultural intelligence for AI. Their ongoing global dataset challenges are part of the IVOW labs. She will be presenting a talk on building culturally inclusive AI models at the Quest for Quality conference.
Davar and the Ivow team are working on an amazing project and we believe a summary is worth sharing here;
To build effective AI products and solutions we need to create more comprehensive datasets to nurture cultural intelligence in machines. We are excited to be joining global software engineers and testers at Quest for Quality in Dublin, Ireland to discuss our first global dataset challenge focusing on the stories of women.
Davar speaking at the Quest for Quality conference 2018
How many testers have felt that they haven’t been involved early enough in product development? We don’t want to repeat this for AI. We want the testing community to be involved early on as we shape this future.
“We are excited to join forces with IVOW AI to make the first steps in bringing inclusiveness and quality to the future of our technological society. This collaborative project will offer multiple opportunities for the global software testing community to learn and be involved in a hands-on project making a positive impact on humanity,” says Anna Royzman of Test Master Academy in New York.
Together with the nonprofit AI Commons, and Test Master Academy in New York City, we are in pre-launch phase of a global challenge to crowdsource an algorithm that generates data on the stories of women in history, culture, science, and technology.
Building culturally inclusive models is vital. To do that, we need a diverse coalition of global experts in data, AI, cultural anthropology, ethics, and engineering. Collecting culturally prominent datasets in an efficient and scalable manner today is paramount to future commercial success. We understand the complex nature of the problem, and we believe that deep collaboration, diversity, and transparency will lead to best outcomes.
We all have a role in designing this new future. AI must understand cultural context and be able to respond to it effectively. If we have the ingenuity to make self-driving cars, we can and must make the interactions between humans and machines more empathetic and inclusive.
Aprajita Mathur is a leading bioinformatics software test engineer and one of the organizers of our women’s dataset challenge. Mathur says culturally relevant datasets are crucial in the medical sciences. “Each human is not just figuratively but also literally unique,” Mathur said. “‘One-size-fits-all’ approaches and treatments may be very successful for some patients, but not for others.”
The concept of personalization is as important in AI as it is in medicine. Building Al systems with cultural content is akin to starting the Precision Medicine Initiative, Mathur said.
“Someday my great-great-granddaughter will ask, ‘Google, why do Indians wear a red dot on their foreheads?’” she said. “I want the answer to be truly reflective of her ancestry and include the emotions that I would feel in answering that question, rather than the one-size-fits-all answer that it’s common practice to do so.”
Tracy Monteith is an Eastern Band Cherokee and Senior Software Engineer at Microsoft. Being a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee meant that he grew up in a matriarchal society with mythology that was nurtured by women. It has been his life-long quest to help preserve Cherokee culture to not only survive, but thrive through the written and spoken language. In 2012, after a 20-year journey, he lead the effort to add the Cherokee language to both Windows and Office. Most recently he leveraged AI to translate the Cherokee language as a way of hearing, seeing, and understanding the voices of our ancestors.
Reflecting on the dataset challenge Tracy Monteith says, “We need a global-denominator of perspective that becomes more inclusive and valuable with each and every contribution. The way tribal people think globally is muted, even though our first-voices are indistinguishable from the natural order of the earth.”
If you’re interested in learning more, please contact us and consider contributing as one of our first Founding Members. Our crowdfunding campaign begins November 14 – January 2020. Your contribution will play a vital part in creating this pioneering dataset challenge. This is the first of ten global AI and Storytelling challenges between 2019-2029 that will introduce global stories to AI and advance Cultural IQ in AI models.
“The theme of this challenge is an extremely fitting introduction to the global AI and Storytelling challenge series that IVOW.AI plans to hold in the next decade. The stories of women comprise integral components within any comprehensive cultural context, and they are especially resonant within the field of Computer Science,” says Professor Ioannis Kakadiaris, Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Distinguished University Professor of Computer Science at the University of Houston.”