Advancing AI and Data Science Through Industry/Academia Collaboration
Dr. Talitha Washington, Clark Atlanta University and Atlanta University Center
The artificial intelligence (AI) and data science workforce continues to expand and demands more talent to meet industry needs. While technologies have accelerated rapidly in industry, incorporating these evolving technologies poses a challenge to universities to align educational experiences with the evolving workforce needs. There is growing and urgent recognition of the potential for racial and other forms of bias that can shape AI and data science with significant social and economic impacts on individuals and communities.
Developing mutually beneficial industry/academia collaborations can bring novel insights that enhance both research and educational experiences while fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion. To drive real social impact, cross-sector efforts must also build trust to catalyze AI/data science advances that benefit society. These high-impact relationships can lead to new courses, programs, and research endeavors that will enhance AI/data science technologies and the workforce. The Atlanta University Center Data Science Initiative works across Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine, and Spelman College and facilitates collaborations with industry.
The Initiative developed a new AI course that infused AI4ALL’s curriculum with current ethical challenges. A partnership with NielsenIQ resulted in a hands-on course where students develop strategies to address a posed business case and connect with working professionals. By working with Greenlink Analytics, faculty will be engaged to use mapping tools that uncover inequities through data. With support from Google Health, social work faculty will use data to drive the development of better treatment and methodologies to address social determinants of health. In addition, partnerships with UnitedHealth, The Coca-Cola Company, SAP, Truist, The Home Depot, and Uber expand participation in AI/data science and encourage new advances on how to address bias and ethics in AI/data science.
This session will explore how to develop effective collaborations that lead to educational pathways for all students. It will also show how researchers in the Atlanta University Center are developing new ways to inform the development of AI and data science that minimize racial biases.
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