Home AI News DeepMind’s Contribution to Advancing Racial Justice and Supporting Black Communities

DeepMind’s Contribution to Advancing Racial Justice and Supporting Black Communities


In June 2020, after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis (USA) and the subsequent global Black Lives Matter protests, many individuals, including myself, reflected on the situation and how our organization, DeepMind, could contribute. We wanted to combat racism and advance racial equity, so we embarked on a process of listening and gathering feedback from our colleagues. We also explored ways to support racial justice in the communities DeepMind interacts with.

Today, I’m excited to announce one outcome of this process. We have decided to provide resources directly to Black communities so they can determine where they need the most support. Over the past few months, we have made donations to organizations that play a crucial role in supporting Black communities in the UK, US, and Africa. These organizations focus on AI/ML impact, emerging tech communities, and broader societal impact. The donations are unrestricted, allowing the organizations to use the funds in whatever way they see fit to create lasting change.

So, who are we funding? Here are some of the organizations we are delighted to support:

1. Black Cultural Archives (UK): This organization is dedicated to preserving and celebrating the histories of people of African and Caribbean descent in the UK. Their mission is to inspire and strengthen communities, individuals, and society by collecting and preserving the stories of the Windrush Generation and promoting workforce diversity.

2. Black in AI (USA): Black in AI is a transcontinental initiative aimed at increasing the presence of Black individuals in the field of AI. They create a space for sharing ideas, fostering collaborations, and discussing initiatives to promote diversity in AI.

3. Black Thrive Global (UK): Black Thrive Global works to improve the experiences and outcomes of Black people in mental health services in the UK. They also address the social inequality and injustices that contribute to the disproportionately high rate of mental illness among Black people.

4. Data Science Africa (Kenya): Data Science Africa is a grassroots organization that offers capacity-building programs in data science, AI, and machine learning. They organize summer schools and workshops across East and West Africa and provide support to African researchers through research awards and visiting fellowship programs.

5. Deep Learning Indaba (across Africa): Deep Learning Indaba supports AI communities in Africa and aims to strengthen machine learning on the continent. They organize local events where ML researchers and enthusiasts can share their research and challenges. They also have a mentorship program and collaborate with Data Science Africa.

6. StopWatch (UK): StopWatch is a coalition that aims to address excess and disproportionate stop and search practices, promote best practices, and ensure fair and effective policing for all. They provide legal and policy analysis, media coverage, advocacy, and community organizing.

7. Ubele Initiative (UK): The Ubele Initiative supports Black and minoritized groups through community-based approaches to development. They work on social action, enterprise development, and next-generation leadership initiatives.

Supporting these organizations is just one part of our ongoing commitment to equity and fairness in AI. At DeepMind, we strive to build safe and ethical AI that benefits society. We are integrating these principles into our research programs by assessing potential harms and incorporating critical reflection on socio-technical topics. We are also reviewing our internal practices to ensure equity in hiring, promotion, and project assignment. Externally, we have expanded our scholarship and mentorship program for underrepresented groups pursuing postgraduate studies.

I want to express my deep gratitude to everyone who has dedicated their time, energy, and passion to these efforts. Together, we will work towards a more inclusive and just society.

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