On October 4th, we kicked off the AIAI Network with an evening event at the Science Gallery Atlanta. We welcomed over seventy people into our network, drawing from educational institutions across the city as well as from local nonprofits, professional organizations, and small businesses. We ate delicious food, toured the JUSTICE exhibit, and–thanks to the DIY heroics of our AIAI student research team–walked away with some excellent AIAI Network swag.
We also talked about what brought us out from Zoom-land on a Wednesday night. It wasn’t hard to figure out. In a word: Atlanta. We all love living in this vibrant, complicated city. Driving down Hosea Williams to the Science Gallery, or commuting to our campuses through the Old Fourth Ward, we’re reminded of the rich history of the civil rights movement on a daily basis. Passing through the West End neighborhoods, home to the HBCUs Spelman, Morehouse, Clark Atlanta, and Morris Brown, alongside Morehouse School of Medicine, we’re made constantly aware of Atlanta’s long-standing role as a city of Black excellence.
But our city is also steeped in contradictions, and we see these every day as well. Atlanta is currently the number-one city for income inequality in this country, for example, and this inequality is not evenly felt: the median household income for Black families in Atlanta is one-third that of white families. We’re witnessing the effects of this income gap as the BeltLine spurs development–and displacement–on the west side. And we (and our “we” here includes everyone in Atlanta) continue to contend with the impact of racism in our city more broadly. From Fulton County Court to the Weelaunee Forest, our commitment to unfinished and unfolding struggles for racial and social justice is why we believe that our city also has a key role to play in conversations about AI, its present harms, and its possible futures.
To learn more about this mission, please watch Dr. Brandeis Marshall (DataedX) and Dr. Lauren Klein (Emory) introduce the AIAI Network:
You can also watch the panel discussion with Dr. André Brock (Georgia Tech), Dr. Carl DiSalvo (Georgia Tech), Dr. Ben Miller (Emory), Dr. Charmayne Patterson (Clark Atlanta), and Dr. Dan Sinykin (Emory).
Our audience testimonials can be found below:
Finally, check out some of the photos from the event:
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