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In Nov. 2021 after ten years of our evolving mission and impact, we changed our name to Gathering Ground. You may still find reference to our old name Creative New Jersey in posts created prior to Nov. 2021.

ICYMI: Quarterly Briefing – Building Equitable, Ethical AI

Fostering Community Dialogue on the Ethics of AI

Grounded in our mission to foster community cohesion and collaborative action across diverse groups, we held a Quarterly Briefing on May 16, 2024 on the critical issue of “Building Equitable, Ethical AI.” This briefing brought together an AI expert, community leaders, nonprofit professionals and engaged citizens to explore the opportunities and risks of artificial intelligence through a lens of equity and justice.

The briefing aimed at underscoring the potential for new technologies like AI to perpetuate historical injustices if not developed and deployed responsibly.

Our guest speaker, Nicholas Azulay from Whole Whale, provided an eye-opening overview of AI capabilities like ChatGPT, Claude, Llama’s large language models (LLM) that can generate human-like text. However, he demonstrated how AI hallucinations, algorithmic bias in training data, and lack of diverse perspectives in the tech field create very real risks of spreading misinformation, perpetuating stereotypes, enabling violence, and widening racial and economic inequalities.

From predictive policing tools exhibiting bias against minority neighborhoods to HR hiring algorithms discriminating against qualified candidates, the examples of AI causing harm were sobering. Azulay advocated for integrating critical race theory, representation, and thoughtful accountability measures as AI capabilities expand rapidly.

For nonprofits and community organizations, Azulay outlined key considerations for responsible AI adoption:

  • Treat AI outputs as initial drafts to be carefully reviewed and edited
  • Maintain human oversight, especially for sensitive situations
  • Consider impacts on employees, communities served, and digital divides
  • Develop AI use policies balancing innovation with transparency and risk mitigation

The briefing fostered rich dialogue, with attendees expressing concerns about weak regulations, agencies struggling to keep pace with technological change, and the need for advocacy to ensure community interests are represented in AI development. There was also great interest in further AI training opportunities for organizations to promote ethical adoption.

We at Gathering Ground, were energized by this cross-pollination of perspectives and wisdom in our community. While AI’s implications for equity are complex, we are committed to continuing this dialogue and collaborative learning to shape more just and equitable technological futures.

You can access the recording of our Quarterly Briefing, information about our speaker Nicholas Azulay, and Whole Whale here: https://youtu.be/EcIuYWOALLI.

We also invite you to share your feedback with us as we consider and plan future programming on this important topic. Share your thoughts by emailing Maria Carnemolla at mcarnemolla@gatheringground.us or Kacy O’Brien at kobrien@gatheringground.us.

Missed our Live Briefing?  Watch it now!

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“Thank you for hosting Communities in Conversation. Having the opportunity to build new partnerships, share resources and problem solve with such a wide variety of community stakeholders was remarkable! The framework and format used created a truly valuable experience for everyone. I look forward to participating in future events like this.”

– Jaime L. Angelini, MA, DRCC, AMTP, Statewide Director of Disaster Services and Special Projects at the Mental Health Association