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September 9, 2020 Cultural Intelligence in AI – An Uprisor Innovation Conversation with Davar Ardalan

We are excited to be talking with Future of Work thought leaders about remote work and on-demand talent in our Uprisor podcast series.  Clinton Bonner, VP at Topcoder, recently spoke with Davar Ardalan, the founder and storyteller in chief at IVOW AI (IVOW stands for Intelligent Voices of Wisdom). In this episode, Clinton and Davar discuss the evolution of artificial intelligence and Ardalan’s work of shaping AI with cultural intelligence. 

Enjoy the conversation and check out highlights below.

Improving AI with Cultural Intelligence

As a tech entrepreneur and storyteller, Davar is dedicated to improving the future of automation by shaping it with the important element of cultural intelligence. AI and voice assistants are widely popular today, but many do not have the data to have culturally relevant conversations with consumers. IVOW AI is committed to keeping historic traditions alive through artificial intelligence. They are developing a better conversational AI that tells stories personalized for different segments of cultures throughout societies. Much like how Siri and Alexa are built on a knowledge graph, IVOW AI is developing a cultural graph that will ensure that the future of automation isn’t culturally lopsided.

“Bringing the cultural lens suddenly brings a whole new opportunity in terms of allowing your brands to have insights into regions of the worlds, what’s happening, what’s common, and what’s trending.” – Davar Ardalan

Creation of Sina Storyteller 

Realizing that the current artificial intelligence assistants we use are lacking diversity in culture and gender richness, IVOW AI developed the storytelling chatbot, Sina. Davar is designing Sina to be culturally aware and to tell and share stories about women from mythology, women who have done amazing things, and an inspiration for a diverse number of people. Historically, the roles of women have been muted in publicly available datasets. IVOW AI wants to build a dataset that is easily accessible, explainable, and reflective of the contributions of women throughout history. Read the recently released report for more detail on how IVOW AI partnered with Topcoder to help shape AI systems, like Sina, with cultural data.

“Humans transmit knowledge to the next generation through our stories, and culture informs every step of those stories. And so why can’t we teach machines through our stories?” – Davar Ardalan

IVOW AI Partnering with Topcoder

Davar and Clinton end by discussing IVOW AI’s partnership with Topcoder for the Women in History Dataset ideation challenge. The goal was to identify public data sources of profiles of women throughout history to help develop a new data set that changes the trajectory of AI for the future. While working on the current project, several advisors (ethnographers or cognitive scientists) from different cultural backgrounds were brought in to look at different prize winners. They have brought their lens into what they saw from the data, which helps better evolve AI’s cultural knowledge. 

This conversation was a fascinating look at how building new culturally conscious unbiased data sets can will reliably supply info to AI in the future. If you enjoyed this Future of Work conversation, check out the Uprisor Podcast for more updates from thought leaders and innovators who are using on demand talent. 

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Alexa Baray


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