San Francisco Bay Area, February 15, 2023 – This Black History Month serves as a reminder that inclusion is critical to build fair, ethical, and safe XR experiences for all.
Black in XR, an initiative and platform championing and supporting Black talent, researchers, speakers and panelists in XR joins the CyberXR Coalition, the Diversity and Inclusion arm of XR Safety Initiative (XRSI), dedicated to helping build safety and inclusion in emerging technologies. The coalition announces this collaboration during the Black History Month to celebrate all of the unsung black voices making an impact on the future of technology.
Technology jobs continue to face high levels of gender and ethnicity inequality. Without an intervention Emerging technologies will amplify the issues. With the rise and adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI), the gender and ethnicity exclusion issue is becoming more relevant, and the over-representation of homogonous ethnicities in the design of these technologies could undo decades of advances in gender and racial equality.
The Founder of Black in XR, Jasmine Roberts, shares the hope and excitement and notes, “The hidden brilliance of Black people in AR/VR is a loss for the entire industry. Right now, as a whole, we are not being given the recognition we deserve or the opportunities to showcase our skills. By actively encouraging others to seek out and hire Black talent, we can help rectify this situation, bring new ideas and perspectives to our field, and create a more inclusive and dynamic industry.”
There have been several high profile cases of bias, including computer vision systems for gender recognition that reported higher error rates for recognizing women, specifically those with darker skin tones. Even if the organizations do the right thing and implement ethical measures and build Accessible and Inclusive designs, the issue of immoral exploitation of the technologies by malicious actors still remains.
Black in XR joins the CyberXR coalition to pursue the following goals: Advocate for a safer, more inclusive, democratic, and civil right-based Metaverse, as well as create a platform for helping empower black and underrepresented minorities in the emerging technology domain.
The president of the CyberXR coalition welcomes Black in XR and notes, “We are beyond thrilled to welcome Black in XR to the Coalition. From our first engagement with their leadership last year it was evident that not only were our goals perfectly aligned in creating a more inclusive extended reality but their passion and commitment to championing Black talent in this emergent space is ever so important. Looking forward to working together, to ensure representation in shaping the future of XR.”
December 2022, the CyberXR coalition helped 15 underrepresented minorities through the Beyond Inclusion Scholarship to get fully funded education to become XR engineers via another coalition member, the XR Bootcamp. With the addition of Black in XR, the coalition aspires to empower black talent and facilitate over 100 fully paid scholarships via the scholarship each year.
XRSI board member and the D&I Advisor, April Boyd-Noronha welcomes the Black in XR community to the coalition noting, “A strategic alliance with such an organization as this further strengthens our resolve to help ensure no dreams are deferred by any marginalized population while in pursuit of a career in emerging tech.”
WEBSITE AND SOCIAL MEDIA
Website: https://cyberxr.org | https://www.blackinxr.org | https://xrsi.org
Twitter: The CyberXR Coalition: @CyberXR | Black in XR: @BlackinXR_ | XRSI: @XRSIdotorg
#WeAreCyberXR #XRSI #XR #BIXR #BHM2023 #BlackHistoryMonth
For more information please contact Amber Kiani, representative at the CyberXR coalition below:
Amber Kiani | Director of Organizational Research and Development | firstname.lastname@example.org