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As part of our podcast review series on USBE, we have listened to a wide variety of digital audio recordings. Some have been interview-based podcasts, while others have been solo, co-hosted, or conversational in nature. We have also explored podcasts that focus on news and current events.  (Photo credit: Depositphotos)

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During our latest review, we examined an online seminar held during the 2022 BEYA Leading Voices Summit for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), which featured a session on Artificial Intelligence and HBCUs.

The moderator was Timothy Akers, and the panelists were Rob Rosen and Paul Wang. Throughout the session, they explored the ways in which HBCUs can effectively bring AI out of the laboratory and into the real world.

Dr. Akers is the assistant vice president for research innovation and advocacy in the Division of Research and Economic Development at Morgan State University, where he is also a professor of public health. He has served as the principal investigator for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security program on Visual Analytics for Science and Technology, which focuses on undergraduate STEM training at a minority-serving institution.

The first panelist was Shuangbao “Paul” Wang, who is a professor and the chairperson of Computer Science at Morgan State University. He has held many positions, including the TSYS Endowed Chair in Cybersecurity, director of the Center for Security Studies, and chief information and technology officer of the National Biomedical Research Foundation.

During Leading Voices 2022, Wang highlighted the strategic focus area of AI for the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Science Foundation’s investment, with a projected boost of $15.7 trillion by 2030. He also mentioned the National Institutes of Health Common Fund’s Bridge to Artificial Intelligence program, which plans a $400 million investment over four years, and the private sector investment of $57.13 billion in 2020.

The second panelist, Robert Rosen, explored how AI applies in the real world and how anyone can get involved, regardless of their access to high-performance computers. Rosen is a director and a health sector technology strategy, analytics, and delivery leader at Guidehouse. He is also a named author on patents in several areas, including artificial intelligence and applied mathematics.

During the discussion, the panelists also addressed the issue of AI bias, racial, prejudicial, and intentional bias. They cited examples like self-driving cars that are more likely to recognize white pedestrians than Black people and a major healthcare company that used an algorithm that deemed Black patients less worthy of critical healthcare than others with similar medical conditions.

They also mentioned how financial technology companies have been shown to discriminate against households of color via higher mortgage interest rates. The panelists acknowledged the trust deficit in AI and the unknown nature of how deep learning models predict the output, data skepticism, and how data is being generated. Take a listen.

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