By Davar Ardalan, Ali Khoshgozaran and Carolyn Ayers
It is no longer possible to imagine a world without machine learning, as industries who refuse to adapt fall further behind. Such a profound paradigm shift only emerges once in a generation and storytellers will play a pivotal role in bringing it all together. Carefully and gracefully, storytellers and data scientists at IVOW are embracing the technology to enhance content creation and distribution in pioneering ways.
Focusing on business, cutting edge companies are now using artificial intelligence (AI) to better understand their customers’ shopping behaviors to develop personalized engagement strategies and to predict future buying trends. Despite the powerful potential of AI in business, one of the major challenges in the field is the lack of culturally diverse data. AI algorithms “train” on a dataset to learn new patterns, so if all the training data is from a single culture, the algorithm will not be accurate at predicting outcomes from other cultures. This is a problem not only for businesses expanding to other emerging markets, but also for those who want to stay relevant to their customer base in a rapidly diversifying and global economy.
In response to this challenge, IVOW is leading the way in the development of Deeply Inclusive AI, which consists of training data that is culturally diverse. For example, recognizing activities across cultures and religions despite substantial differences in appearance, like not confusing a man in traditional Scottish dress as a woman and distinguishing different types of head gestures commonly used on the Indian subcontinent.
One of the promises of machine learning is that machines use different methods to process data compared to humans. IVOW takes a unique approach at the intersection of data science, machine learning, and storytelling to engage with people from diverse backgrounds and encourage them to opt-in and provide their cultural data. For example, IVOW is currently in developing the TapnTale program, which allows people to share their cultural experiences in a fun and engaging way, whether it be photographs, videos, audio recordings, or stories. The application uses a story template to prompt users to answer questions or submit content, particularly on important holidays and festivals.
The application then applies AI algorithms including deep neural networks and boosted decision trees to analyze the content of the user submissions and immediately reward them with an AI generated game, story, or greeting card to share online with friends. In the long term, users will be able to use technology similar to contactless payment systems as they opt-in to quickly share their cultural stories with their friends, or even their car, smart house, or smart appliances. Imagine your future oven delivering your grandma’s apple pie recipe.
The TapnTale program will be implemented in two parts: the learning phase and the prediction phase. In the learning phase, the application will ask questions designed to address the lack of cultural data. For example, when a user submits a photo of a traditional dinner, the application will encourage him or her to label the types of food or decorations on the table. In the prediction phase, the application will use this new knowledge to automatically identify patterns and make predictions. This is especially useful for businesses when combined with existing data about the customer, such as their participation in a loyalty rewards program. Throughout the entire process, the Deeply Inclusive AI algorithms will continuously learn in real time, so that they constantly improve their ability to recognize and predict cultural patterns.
The development of Deeply Inclusive AI not only helps create a more inclusive and ethical society as we rapidly move towards automated intelligent storytelling and decision-making, but it also makes for sound business strategy as industries better understand each of their customer’s needs and motivations. We further argue that Deeply Inclusive AI helps customers feel more affinity with a business who knows them better. This, might be even a bigger deal than businesses knowing customers.
A deeper understanding of every customer’s personal story and cultural background is vital for competing in a marketplace increasingly dominated by Artificial Intelligence. We look forward to discussing these critical concepts on October 17 at Stanford at the Forum on AI for Culturally Relevant Interactions, sponsored by mediaX at Stanford University, in conjunction with IVOW, Baidu and Flybits.
About IVOW: We are a team of journalists, educators, technologists, and app developers with extensive experience in combining timeless principles of storytelling with new emerging technologies. We are affiliates of mediaX at Stanford University.
OUR PROMISE: A vow to design the next generation of intelligence machines to be deeply inclusive, to promote the dignity, health, and wellbeing of all life in ways that respect and celebrate cultural heritage and identity.
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