Los Angeles is Optimistic about the Future of Artificial Intelligence

Los Angeles is Optimistic about the Future of Artificial Intelligence

By Todd Terrazas, President of AI LA.

Los Angeles is the second most populous city in America and the third largest GDP in the world behind Tokyo and New York. Besides our amazing weather and lower cost of living than Silicon Valley, we also have a flourishing investment scene helping develop the LA tech ecosystem. According to a PWC Moneytree report, $6.4 billion was raised in 2018 by Los Angeles and Orange County firms.

Los Angeles also graduates more engineers than any other metropolitan area in the United States! But what makes a great artificial intelligence (AI) ecosystem? A sustainable community!

Los Angeles is one of the only cities in the world that has a dedicated volunteer-led social enterprise cultivating a diverse community of cross-disciplinary AI stakeholders on a consistent basis. The AI LA Community is more than 5,000 members strong and growing, representing the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (S.T.E.A.M.) communities of the Greater Los Angeles area.

The AI LA Community’s mission is to build a more informed and collaborative world in which humans use AI harmoniously and transparently in everyday life.

A diverse community can only be built by creating a platform which allows people from different disciplines, industries, and experience levels to convene and learn from each other.

If we want to fairly and ethically develop AI, then we need to have a diverse workforce building it and be conscious of the quality of data being used to train the systems. This is why Los Angeles is in the best position to lead the future of AI.

AI is human! As Fei-Fei Li, Co-Director of the Stanford Human-Centered AI Institute said: “There’s nothing artificial about AI. It’s inspired by people, it’s created by people, and — most importantly — it impacts people. It is a powerful tool we are only just beginning to understand, and that is a profound responsibility.”

To celebrate and explore these ideas, we hosted a sold-out rooftop party in Downtown LA last week, to bring the community together to share tacos and tequila and talk about our shared destiny with Artificial Intelligence. If the night was any indication for what the future might hold for the future of AI, then we have reason to be optimistic!

We were graced with a beautiful sunset, amazing company, nifty networking and a stellar raffle. Diversity and youth turned out in force to offer a hopeful glimpse into what could turn out to be the greatest human invention yet, shaped by a community concerned with its fair and transparent application.