Amplifying Voices: How Custom AI Is Transforming Representation for Black and Brown Communities

But in a world shaped by technology, and our expectations about its use, we can welcome the emergence of AI built for Black and brown people as offering greater hope and more affirming possibilities. These stories are not just about technology. They are about the strength and ingenuity of a diverse group of people writing themselves into the story of AI and digital technologies.

Bridging the Gap with Personalized AI

At the centre of this endeavour is the acknowledgment of a fundamental blindspot: the lack of self-representation within AI algorithms. Despite the many capabilities of mainstream tools such as ChatGPT, they still fail to capture the distinct nature of Black and brown experiences. Hence, groups such as Latimer.AI, founded by Pasmore, are devoted to creating AI that can not only cater to but also emulate the experiences of these communities.

Tailoring Technology to Cultural Richness

The Emergence of Culturally Conscious Platforms

Latimer.AI, perhaps the only web search currently the social system. It also carefully uses citations as sources integral to Black history and culture, incorporating them into its language model to avoid interactions that sound technically correct while being socially offensive.

At the same time, Erin Reddick’s ChatBlackGPT takes the path of community-owned chatbots towards a large-scale rollout that promises users a taste of Black culture. And Tamar Huggins’ Spark Plug redesigns education through the lens of AAVE to cater to Black and brown students with content that fits their linguistic heritage.


The story spans continents; innovations such as CDIAL.AI by Yinka Iyinolakan create new ground for AI work in Africa by taking the continent’s linguistic diversity into account. Such projects highlight just how transformative AI can be when designed to celebrate and respect the full spectrum of human lives.

The Challenge of Representation in AI

Despite these steps, the path to truly representative AI is rocky. The stark asymmetry of global AI research production illustrates a larger problem: we still need diverse perspectives to inform the future of technology. Platforms such as pocstock are increasing the variety of imagery used to train AI models, but the fight for inclusion is just beginning.

The Road Ahead

The more digital humanity becomes, the greater the need for AI that embeds itself within human experience and recognises and honours this diversity. The trailblazers of such pioneering research are not just creating technologies, they are weaving the very nature of inclusivity into the digital landscape of tomorrow’s future.

A New Horizon for AI Development

The efforts of these visionaries hint at a future where AI can be used not only by the many, but to expand the voices of the few, or even the voiceless. Advancing inclusive technology is not just a technological problem – it is a moral one.

Understanding the Power of SPEAKERS in AI

It is hard to talk about AI without talking about speakers – both users whose speaking presence is welcomed into AI platforms and the synthetic voices working as avatars for these technological wonders. Figuring out how to catify AI for Black and brown populations places speakers as cultural representatives who pantomime the minutiae of language, history, and experience into the AI ecosystem. It is this concerned relationship between human speakers with AI speakers that triggers the data with enough humanity to make it yield to the voices of its designers and users (and their progressive political agendas). As we reckon with the challenges of our digital present, it will be even more vital to diversify and represent speakers – both human and AI – so that they help us discuss the challenges of the future and make much of it yield.

Jun 17, 2024
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