Fostering a Diverse Al Workforce


Researchers from the School of Social Work bring expertise on understanding societal barriers as well as positive leverages for engaging youth of diverse backgrounds in STEM fields. The Columbia School of Social Work (CSSW) is home to the SAFE Lab, an interdisciplinary research team which leverages AI, social media and social science approaches to study aggression, trauma and empathy. CS researchers affiliated with the Data Science Institute and the Department of Computer Science bring the technical expertise to develop AI education outreach programs.

AI4ALL will collaborate with Columbia University’s School of Social Work (CCSW) and Data Science Institute to define research questions and measurement tools to assess the efficacy of AI4ALL’s programming, including how it promotes persistence in AI. The activities planned for this phase -- designing comprehensive student recruitment plan and the virtual internship fair pilot -- are designed to access historically underserved populations without strong STEM training and provide exposure to emerging career opportunities in AI. CCSW is deeply connected to diverse and underserved communities in New York and beyond. In collaboration with CCSW researchers, AI4ALL will identify youth-serving organizations that have access to these communities and will work with the Data Science Institute and Stanford’s AI faculty to identify measurement tools to analyze the AI First approach to teaching AI skills. AI4ALL’s industry partners, invested in recruiting diverse AI talent, are committed to working with the organization to showcase their internship opportunities and provide insight on the AI skills talent needs in order to be successful. At the close of phase 1, the first iteration of the toolkit will be available to disseminate to the pilot group of pre-selected, community of practice members, including faculty at AI4ALL participating universities, youth-serving organizations, and the industry partners. The toolkit will include best practices to teach AI to historically underrepresented backgrounds, models for student recruitment, internship partnerships with companies, and a compilation of measurement tools to assess the efficacy of the programs.

The research will be led by Augustin Chaintreau and Desmond Patton


550 West 120th Street, Northwest Corner Building, Suite 1401, New York, N.Y. 10027    212.854.5660
©2020 Columbia University