Artificial intelligence is seemingly everywhere, yet no one can be sure of all the ways it’s going to impact the future of work.
Sulaiman Rahman, founder and CEO of diversity-focused talent firm DiverseForce, doesn’t want underrepresented communities to get left behind as this technology develops. Enter: the org’s new AI-focused professional development program, the GameChangers Accelerator.
The accelerator targets underrepresented Black and brown Philadelphians who are interested in expanding their technical knowledge and career opportunities related to game design and AI. The program will cover AI, no-code programming, UX/UI design, project management and digital marketing. Participants can expect to build a portfolio including a no-code app, and to gain access to a network of mentors and peers.
Rahman believes education is key to building pipelines of diverse talent. Artificial intelligence seems like it’s going to have a big impact because of how quickly the tech is being adopted, he said, so his company chose to focus this program on AI to make sure underrepresented Philadelphians stay competitive.
“If we don’t start to acclimate Black and brown professionals on artificial intelligence, the wealth chasm, as well as the digital divide, is going to accelerate,” Rahman told Technical.ly. “[We] really want to make sure that folks are on the forefront of this technology.”
DiverseForce also chose gaming because the company sees it as a gateway to expose people to Web3, another quickly advancing tech — and because gaming can incorporate AI expertise and other technical skills.
DiverseForce is accepting 25 students to participate in the program in person at Germantown’s P4 Hub as well as 75 virtual students who will watch the classes on a livestream. The program will feature one session and one lab opportunity per week.
In this pilot year, tuition is free to all participants. Rahman said the course is for beginners, but his org is looking for people who already have digital literacy skills and who will make the 12-week commitment. The program is aiming to include a wide range of people, from someone trying to break into tech to an entrepreneur looking to learn more about AI to inform their company.
Applications for the accelerator are open now until Aug. 28 at 5 p.m. Programming begins Sept. 26.
Generally, Rahman said, this is a step toward helping people realize they need to embrace AI to get better at their jobs, rather than fearing this technology.
“At least in the near future, humans are not going to be replaced by AI,” he said. “They’re going to be replaced by humans using AI.”Sarah Huffman is a 2022-2023 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Lenfest Institute for Journalism.
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