A Scottish chapter of a UK-wide community interest company designed to promote greater diversity and inclusion in AI is set for launch in Edinburgh on Wednesday.

Diverse AI will formally announce its establishment in the capital with an evening engagement and networking event at the Scottish digital skills academy, CodeClan.

Steph Wright, head of the Scottish AI Alliance, is co-founder of the organisation. She insists it will be a vital initiative to ensure greater representation of minority groups in AI development.

In a Scottish context, that is part of a national strategic drive to build AI products and services that are ‘trustworthy, ethical and inclusive’.

She said: “The lack of diversity in AI (and in the tech world in general) is a well recognised challenge. As someone who believes that AI can truly transform our world and lives for the better, it needs to be developed by as diverse a range of people as possible to ensure that it benefits all instead of the few.

“We are not alone in this but we want to play our part so I would like to invite everyone in the AI ecosystem and its adjacent sectors to join us and help drive positive change towards a more diverse AI future.”

Diverse AI will be a membership-driven, not-for-profit, and volunteer-run organisation dedicated to supporting and growing diversity in the field of Artificial Intelligence. 

Its activities include a Community Empowerment programme, which kicks off with engagement with the LGBTQ+ community; an Education programme including an educational resource hub and an AI literacy initiative; and a Research programme with a first project looking at developing an  implementable framework for user-centred and inclusive deployment of AI algorithms.

Also at the event, Loral Quinn, CEO of CodeClan, will talk about her journey as a female tech-for-good founder. 

At CodeClan we are passionate about empowering individuals from all backgrounds to enter the tech industry and supporting the growth of Scotland’s digital workforce. Partnering with Diverse AI aligns perfectly with our mission, and we are proud to support their Scottish launch event. Together, we can create a more diverse and inclusive AI landscape,” she said.

And most importantly, it will be an opportunity for like-minded people, whether from diverse backgrounds or those wishing to be allies, to meet and network. 

The launch event is also a part of Turing Fest – the UK’s leading cross-functional tech conference – where Diverse AI is part of the Diversity Zone, also supported by CodeClan. 

Places are free but people must register here.