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Why does AI matter to my community?

Artificial intelligence is allowing the world of technology to expand at a head-spinning pace. Have you noticed more self-serve checkout aisles at the grocery store? That's AI. The technology scans the item, gathers data about the items, and completes the entire transaction without human interference. Did someone you know get diagnosed with a disease much sooner than expected? That's AI. Healthcare professionals use AI to find patterns and make predictions much earlier than usual using the amazing computing power of AI.

AI can offer us many benefits. But at the same time it can result in negative impacts on communities of color.

Yes, AI technology is expected to create new jobs. But the question we are faced with is how to ensure that these jobs — and all other AI-related opportunities — are made available to our marginalized communities of color. One way to do this is to engage with AI head-on through education and action. Our focus is to close the gap between the world of artificial intelligence and the communities of color who are affected by it.

We have only scratched the surface of the ways in which artificial intelligence will redefine and reshape our lives. But what we do already know is that AI is impacting different communities in different ways. Advents in AI technology are already responsible for significant job losses, the consequences of which are already echoing through marginalized communities of color all over the world. Economic disparities in our country alone have made it so that many of the jobs that AI is replacing are the same jobs that keep communities of color afloat. The more sophisticated AI becomes, the more jobs it is capable of replacing—jobs that are routinely filled by members of communities of color.

But there’s a bright side, too. Though there will continue to be job loss due to the growth of AI-related fields, there will also be increased opportunities if we prepare for them. Small business owners, educators, students, healthcare providers, and community leaders can use AI tools through their smartphones to support their local economies. Read more here.

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