Conversations about AI are no longer just about technology. They’re also about society.
Today, the AI systems in our everyday lives can perpetuate and amplify biases that have long existed offline: Recommendation algorithms promote racist messages. Facial recognition systems misidentify Black faces. And voice assistants like Alexa and Siri struggle to understand Black voices. As the AI in consumer technology grows more sophisticated and prevalent, problems like these will grow even more complex.
In August, Mozilla announced $260,000 in funding for Black artists who use art to spotlight how AI can reinforce — or disrupt — systems of oppression.
Today, Mozilla is announcing the eight winning projects.
The winners include an app that uses AI to predict police brutality; a stark visualization of the ways voice technology excludes Black voices; an animated film about afrofuturism; and more. Awardees hail from the U.S., the UK, and the Netherlands.
These projects will launch to the world beginning in spring 2021. Winners were selected by a panel of 10 judges composed of artists, technologists, and activists. Learn more about each awardee in the list below.
Says J. Bob Alotta, Mozilla VP of Global Programs: “Black artistry exists within a long-standing tradition of applying rigorous artistic analysis to the most compelling issues in society. With these awards, we’re eager to continue that tradition — and also to fuel the long-overdue interrogations of race and racism happening now in the U.S. and around the globe.”
Mozilla’s Creative Media Awards support people and projects on the front lines of the internet health movement — from creative technologists in Japan, to tech policy analysts in Uganda, to privacy activists in the U.S. Creative Media Awards are supported by the NetGain Partnership, a collaboration between Mozilla, Ford Foundation, Knight Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, and the Open Society Foundation. The goal of this philanthropic collaboration is to advance the public interest in the digital age.
Past Creative Media Awards have interrogated algorithmic bias in dating apps and human resources departments; they have spotlighted the dangers of deepfakes and emotion recognition technology; and they have raised awareness about filter bubbles and bots.