EFF-Austin, a local organization in the Electronic Frontier Alliance, (not EFF) will host this event:
Indigenous Community-Developed Voice AI XR
From the Organizers:
Join us for a special EFF-Austin SXSW event at Red Salmon Arts/Resistencia Books with our special guests Michael and Caroline Running Wolf! Free to attend and no badge required, although we encourage you to make a $5 donation to Red Salmon Arts if your budget allows. There is limited parking on site, although we encourage you to carpool or take transit/rideshare if that is an option for you. We will have a few pizzas and drinks for guests, first come first serve. The event is also bring your own food/drinks, with an onsite kitchen if you need to cook something. Per the event space organizers, we request that you bring non-alcoholic beverages only.
Indigenous communities are pushing back against a narrative of language loss by seizing the means of documentation. Traditional academia does necessary research but fails to uplift the Indigenous communities to be self-sufficient in the producing documentation and utilizing technology advancements. Michael and Caroline will share how they and their allies are working to build community capacity with the goal of creating Voice AI. They will speak about the Lakota AI Code Camp and other initiatives and discuss the ramifications this work will have on language reclamation.
Michael Running Wolf (Northern Cheyenne/Lakota/Blackfeet) was raised in a rural prairie village in Montana with intermittent water and electricity; naturally he has a Master’s of Science in Computer Science, is a former engineer for Amazon’s Alexa, former faculty at Northeastern University, and is pursuing a PhD in CS at McGill University. Michael is researching Indigenous language and culture reclamation using immersive technologies (AR/VR) and artificial intelligence. His work has been awarded a MIT Solve Fellowship, the Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, and the Patrick McGovern AI for Humanity Prize. Through the ethical application of AI and advanced technology respecting Indigenous ways of knowing he is contributing to the ecology of thought represented by the Indigenous.
Caroline Running Wolf, née Old Coyote, is an Apsáalooke (Crow) Media Activist dedicated to supporting Indigenous language and cultural vitality. She was raised in USA, Canada, and Germany. Caroline's PhD research at University of British Columbia partners with Kwakwaka'wakw communities and explores potential applications of immersive technologies (AR/VR/XR) and artificial intelligence to effectively enhance Indigenous language and culture reclamation. She is also passionate about Indigenous Data Sovereignty and AI ethics.
Thursday, March 16
5:30 pm – 7 pm CT
This event is organized not by EFF, but by EFF-Austin, a grassroots group participating in the Electronic Frontier Alliance. The EFA is a network of grassroots organizations across the country committed to promoting digital rights. Together, we're building a movement to promote freedom of expression, privacy, security, creativity, and access to knowledge.