Have y’all heard of Latimer yet? It’s an inclusive new large language model (LLM) that aims to reflect the black and brown voices that have long been excluded from mainstream tech. Developed by innovator John N. Pasmore, this “Black GPT” tackles the urgent need for diversity in AI. You see, Latimer’s AI was trained on content from the HBCUs. Now, there is a waitlist to try Latimer and I haven’t been able to test it out yet. But, I love the idea!
Addressing AI Bias Through Inclusion
As I’m sure you know, many current AI systems demonstrate harmful racial bias, inaccuracy and erasure. Bloomberg’s recent investigation of leading text-to-image generator Stable Diffusion revealed shockingly racist outputs. Even ChatGPT’s own CEO admits its propensity for bias. This makes sense since most AI models are trained on the entirety of the internet and the entirety of the internet is based on human content – which is inherently biased.
Latimer boldly addresses this issue by incorporating diverse educational sources excluded from most AI training data. As John explained to People of Color in Tech, Latimer integrates books, oral histories and archives from communities of color.
This contextual training helps Latimer generate more culturally accurate details reflecting black and brown experiences. It builds on existing AI like Meta’s LLama and OpenAI’s GPT-4 that powers ChatGPT. But Latimer adds the critical layer of equitable data missing from those models.
The familiar ChatGPT-style Latimer interface allows users – especially students – to interact with and understand AI generative technology. But the key difference is its mitigation of engrained societal biases that lead to harm.
Latimer’s promising partnerships further its goals of accessibility and representation. Collaborating with HBCUs helps introduce this inclusive tool to the next generation.
Latimer has also enlisted legendary scholar Molefi Kete Asante to shape its educational frameworks. And tech leader Esther Dyson invested in Latimer’s mission to portray the world more accurately. As Esther explains, Latimer helps fix AI’s cultural distortion and one-sided history narratives. The technology segregation that has long plagued our society is being dismantled by visionaries like John.
Latimer’s Timing Couldn’t Be Better
Latimer comes at a watershed moment when diversity and ethics in AI dominate headlines. While large tech firms are just waking up to these issues, Latimer proves the possibilities of equitable AI.
Of course, HBCUs recognize the immediate need for representative learning models that serve all students. That’s why many different colleges are integrating Latimer into curriculums.
Latimer’s public waitlist signifies surging mainstream demand for ethical AI. I genuinely believe John Pasmore is pioneering a new frontier where technology elevates all voices.
Latimer’s AI Will Be More Authentic Than I Could Be
Here’s one of the most astonishing realizations I’ve had while thinking about Latimer. When it comes to creating content for people of color, Latimer would be more authentic than I could ever be.
As a white woman, anything I write for people of color will always have an arm’s length of authenticity. My understanding of the black experience comes secondhand from friends, books and media. But an AI trained on content BY people of color could capture perspectives I can’t fully grasp.
Here’s the crazy part – Latimer’s output could be MORE authentic than my own writing skills could achieve! That just blows me away. An AI grasping nuances of cultural experiences so intricately that it can express them better than we can ourselves?
Of course, I haven’t yet tried Latimer as I’m still on the wait list. So, I am assuming the quality of the outputs would be superb. Either way, by drawing on the actual black experience, whatever Latimer creates would certainly be more relatable than something I’d write.
A Sign of GPTs to Come?
So, let’s assume that Latimer will generate terrific, human-sounding outputs, that speak authentically to people of color. This, then becomes an incredible marketing tool to reach that audience.
To me, Latimer signals a fascinating future where we have audience-specific AIs. Imagine GPTs trained on #women‘s content to empower authentic messaging. Or #LGBTQ-focused models that intrinsically understand those communities.
Soon, we may all turn to audience-specific AI to write more authentically than we humans can write. Latimer is pioneering a path toward technology that bridges divides and enables genuine understanding.
Now, of course, you can use the existing generative AI tools like ChatGPT, Claude, Jasper, etc. to speak to those audiences. It really just comes down to the right prompts. Nonetheless, I think Latimer’s ability to speak more authentically to people of color than I could because of its specific training opens the door for other audience-specific AI.
Latimer’s Inclusive Training Sparks Real Progress
Of course, that’s not the point of Latimer and I don’t want to diminish its important role in addressing the inherent bias of AI. And, there is still so much more work remaining to unravel generations of inequality hard-coded into tech – and our history. But pioneers like Latimer bring hope for diverse minds shaping an equitable artificial intelligence future.
One inclusive platform alone cannot fix systemic issues. Still, Latimer moves the needle toward AI representing humanity in its full spectrum. Its progress signifies light after long darkness. Once I am off the wait list and let into the AI, I will let you know how it works. In the meantime, I am keeping my fingers crossed that this will be the beginning of real progress with AI’s diversity issue.
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