Mozilla is unveiling its latest Creative Media Awardees: 11 projects that use art, advocacy, and technology to unpack how AI is — and should be — designed

(FRIDAY, MARCH 10, 2023) -- Photographs that reveal the shocking way AI is deployed at borders. A documentary about the effects of automation on human labor. A curriculum for teaching social justice-centered computer science.

These are just a handful of Mozilla’s latest Creative Media Award winners, which are being announced today and will be launching their projects into the world throughout 2023. Winners hail from seven countries on five continents.

This year’s cohort of 11 projects will explore the intersection of AI and responsible design using art exhibits, web games, short films, and other mediums. They bring an artist’s perspective to thorny issues around AI like bias, surveillance, and productivity. Winners receive between $15,000 and $30,000 USD each.

Two of this year’s winners — “In Sync” and “That Code Doesn't Exist” — are based in Uganda and Zimbabwe, respectively, and are part of the Creative Media Awards’ collaboration with Mozilla’s African Innovation Mradi. Africa Innovation Mradi’s goals are to generate product development, build community and capacity, and produce a meaningful impact on the African internet ecosystem.

Says Kofi Yeboah, Mozilla Program Officer: “How AI is designed is one of the most urgent questions facing society today. Given AI’s outsized impact on billions of lives, it's essential that these systems are designed responsibly. But how do we do that? And what does ‘responsible’ mean across different borders and cultures? These 11 projects unpack these essential questions.”

For the past four years, recipients of Mozilla’s Creative Media Awards have created interactive experiences, games, videos, films and more. Their work has explored AI and its impacts — both good and bad. Projects have helped people understand, imagine, and critique what trustworthy AI could and should look like. And projects have gone on to show at a variety of regional and global film festivals (IDFA, Tribeca, TIFF, Cannes) and museums (Tate Modern, MoMA, HKW).

How AI is designed is one of the most urgent questions facing society today.

Kofi Yeboah, Mozilla Program Officer

The winners:

The Algorithm | UK | Lujain Ibrahim and Alia ElKattan

The Algorithm is a web game exploring algorithmically-curated video feeds (e.g. TikTok, Instagram Reels) and the recommender systems that power them. The goal is to break down and demystify “The Algorithm” which we love to praise, blame, and game in our digital ecosystems.

Artificial Life Coach | U.S. | Şerife Wong

Artificial Life Coach will be a series of social media videos in which the artist speaks directly to algorithms as their “Artificial Life Coach.” The project uses humor to encourage a more realistic understanding of algorithmic systems and how they fall short for different communities.

Bringing AI To Life | U.S. | Shola Oyedele

This documentary will explore the integration of AI into the products and platforms we use everyday. The main story follows a small business owner who replaces their employees with AI technology, and then unpacks the consequences that follow.

Dataville | India | Arnab Chakravarty

DataVille: The Exploitation of Human Labor in AI Development is a video game that sheds light on how AI depends on human labor from the global south to conduct tasks such as data cleaning, coding, and classifying content. It also explores how this work impacts the output of ML algorithms.

In Sync | Uganda | Enock Musoke

This short film explores the future uses of AI in rural communities in Eastern Uganda. It will examine the use cases of adapting AI into the administrative and agricultural activities of small farmer communities. And it will unpack just how much humanity will lean on AI abilities in the future. It will also address the idea that for AI to work efficiently, different data collection points have to be “In Sync.”

Pear AI | Canada | Valentine Goddard

Pear AI: Algorithmic Art to Counter AI's Mis-Pear-Ceptions of Us uses algorithmic art — created with data contributed by women/womxn from over 40 countries — to counter gender, racial and cultural biases in AI. It also engages the public in an interactive and immersive knowledge-sharing experience.

The Risk Factors | Brazil | Camila Nobrega

This journalistic investigation, taking the form of a short documentary, uses a feminist anticolonial perspective to explore the surveillance methods applied to researchers and activists working on environmental conflicts in Latin America.

The Sandbox | Canada | Kenya-Jade Pinto

The Sandbox is a documentary photography project about the AI technology at borders that decides whether people live or die. The Sandbox will ask the audience to evaluate the human cost of an increasingly automated world — one where borders are militarized with robot dogs and AI, and biometric data is extracted and harvested from refugees.

That Code Doesn't Exist | Zimbabwe | Nyasha Mugavazi

That Code Doesn’t Exist is an interactive 2D animation. With elements of augmented reality, the film will be hosted on its own website to facilitate its interactive elements. This short film is the prologue to the graphic novel Murenga, which was inspired by a lecture given by neuroscientist Rafael Yuste on the need for guiding ethical principles in AI.

Well-being Struggle | Spain | Sena Partal and Sasha Smirnova

Well-being Struggle reveals the repeated messages of positivity used by digital mental health products as a means to raise human productivity, aiming to spark a critical discussion around their impact on society and the value systems they promote.

Undisciplined | U.S. | Imani Cooper Mkandawire

Undisciplined is a multicomponent interactive website that presents a prototype for a social justice-centered STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts and Mathematics) curriculum in computational science and engineering for AI.

Press contact: Kevin Zawacki | [email protected]