STAI CDT student, Anna Gausen, has started Accessible AI, a project alongside her PhD which aims to communicate discussions, concepts and resources about AI to a wider audience, both on Instagram and through engaging reports and talks.
We spoke to Anna about Accessible AI and her motivations for starting the project.
What is Accessible AI?
Alongside my PhD I started a project called Accessible AI (https://www.instagram.com/accessible_ai/). I collaborate with a creative researcher with the goal of communicating complex AI concepts to a non-technical audience through the platform of Instagram, as well as reports and talks. As an academic, this has been a valuable practice of distilling complex technical and socio-cultural aspects of AI into something everyone feels comfortable engaging with.
What motivated you to start Accessible AI?
The reason I started Accessible AI is because AI impacts everyone, yet people feel like they need a PhD to engage with it. This is dangerous, particularly when those developing AI are very homogenous. For AI to work for everyone, I strongly believe that we, the academic community, need to empower people to engage with AI and form their own understanding of it.
What is your most recent project?
We recently published a report on “Colonialism and AI”. Deployments of AI-related technologies across sectors have repeatedly shown that they can perpetuate existing biases. If we continue to build AI with biased data sets and a lack of diversity in our development teams, AI is set to automate inequality and social injustice on a global scale. But the link to colonialism doesn’t stop here. The way AI is being deployed by the global west is in danger of reinforcing colonial power dynamics – from creating a new model of labor exploitation to BETA testing on marginalized groups. Our report explores how AI is at risk of repeating the patterns of our colonial history and how we can begin to decolonise AI. It was inspired by the brilliant work of Karen Hao, Shakir Mohamed, Marie-Therese Png, William Isaac and Kate Crawford.
You can find out more about the project below: