MILWAUKEE — Everywhere you go these days, there is discussion about artificial intelligence and what it means for work, home life and social interactions. Nadiyah Johnson, founder of the Milky Way Tech Hub and organizer of WI Tech Month programming, wants to help people understand how to better access AI.
The month of events kicked off last Thursday and will include Building Future Forward Tech Ecosystems on Wednesday, WI Tech Advocacy Day at the State Capitol on Thursday, and Tech Trailblazers: Celebrating Women in Wisconsin’s Tech Ecosystem on October 9.
This will be the third year for WI Tech Month, led by Milky Way Tech Hub and Latinos in Tech. Also recognized as part of WI Tech Month will be MKE Tech Week, which kicks off with an event with Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson speaking on Monday. During the event, the community will discuss making Milwaukee a regional technology hub, focusing specifically on AI and advocacy.
Nadiyah Johnson said she hopes to help people better understand AI, the lack of regulation surrounding it and how it will continue to advance during WI Tech Month.
Ben Juarez, co-founder of Latinos in Tech, agrees that AI is an important topic to focus on.
“As technology continues to evolve, artificial intelligence is emerging as a central force shaping our lives and our economies. With a focus on AI, we aim to prepare Wisconsin for the future of technology, driving the innovation and education that are essential to sustainable growth. ” he said in a statement.
Johnson said she also wanted to highlight during WI Tech Month the number of Black and Latino innovators working in the Milwaukee area. She also wants to change the narrative about Milwaukee’s segregation by highlighting the work of the Milky Way Tech Hub, where Black people and other people of color can thrive in tech, and Latinos in tech.
October 10 will be the Equity in Tech Summit, which will discuss “How AI can advance our collective efforts to increase equity in the technology sector.” It will include speakers from the Kapor Center for Social Impact and Data for Black Lives.
Another event on October 9 will focus on women pioneers in Wisconsin’s tech ecosystems.
Johnson said it’s important to not only focus on how to grow Wisconsin and Milwaukee’s tech ecosystem, but also “how to do it in a way that moves forward equitably.”
She hopes others will also recognize the work Milky Way Tech Hub and Latinos in Tech are doing for minorities in tech and be inspired and replicated in cities like Detroit.
She also hopes to reach people who don’t consider themselves techies, but are “tech-curious,” and help people create or get jobs — or even start their own businesses.
“I want to exert leverage to amplify whatever is happening,” she said.