Jersey City — Amid the AI boom, consumers began to question and criticize the ethics of the technology and what an AI-powered future would look like.
AI as a new form of technology arises from a particularly diverse context. Since 2019, 72% of global professionals with AI skills are men. To make matters worse, a recent report from McKinsey’s State of AI 2022 found that less than 25% of AI employees identify as racial or ethnic minorities.
Diversity issues in AI cover multiple facets of identity by default, leaving plenty of room for solutions.
Project Liberty, a nonprofit dedicated to building a global alliance for responsible technology, and Aspen Digital, an international impact organization focused on creating an inclusive data economy, have partnered to launch this which could well be a solution in this space: the Next Gen Tech Fellowship.
The pilot fellowship launched last month and is expected to train and provide a platform for five U.S.-based Gen Z leaders (ages 18-25), who are seeking to build a more accessible, safer world and more inclusive, both online and offline.
According to Project Liberty and Aspen Digital, each participant is committed to understanding the impact of new and emerging technologies on their generation. As the digital landscape evolves to include the unique challenges of ubiquitous AI and the growing dangers of online hate and misinformation, it is critical to foster action and informed perspectives from the rising generation.
Fellows will receive exclusive virtual one-on-one sessions and tailored learning sessions with leading experts on issues including the future of artificial intelligence, data equity, community impacts of emerging technologies, cybersecurity and Web3. For their final presentation in May, fellows will select a topic at the intersection of youth and technology and research.
As an advocate for diversity in the tech sector, the concept of the fellowship really caught my attention. AI isn’t going anywhere, and Gen Z deserves to have a say in where the future of technology takes it. I’m surprised more organizations haven’t started hosting similar programs.
Fellowships like this encourage diverse voices in tech. Given that we, as Generation Z, are one of the most diverse generations the country has ever seen, it is imperative that we find roles in technology that allow us to diversify the field, while also creating solutions that actually work for us.
I continue like this, Large technology companies developing AI solutions have much to offer the world through youth-focused scholarship programs. If AI is the future, Generation Z will soon be piloting that ship. It makes sense to prepare now and expose ourselves to a multitude of opportunities, before the diversity gap widens.
Miranda Perez (she/hers) is a journalist based in Jersey City, New Jersey covering the technology industry. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @mimithegee.
Edited by NaTyshca Pickett