Welcome to Friday.

We can’t have the bias in algorithms conversation without acknowledging the obvious: there’s still a great percentage of us who’s data is incomplete.

I spent yesterday morning at the New York Media Lab conference listening to presentations on innovations in virtual reality and data science. In short, the general consensus was to leave considering the notion that the future of big data means more accessibility and access.

Except for when it doesn’t. 

We’re at a tipping point in the surrender of our personal data. Equifax’s recent breach, which could arguably be one of the largest in history as we know it, places real fear on the algorithms that control our lives, determines our housing, our employment, and our ability to reach economic mobility and agency.

On the other side of the equation stands the need for more data from citizens that look like you and me. Because digital spaces owned by marginalized groups provides foundational entry points into understanding those lived experiences.

For example, we have documented truths behind movements like Black Lives Matter; data points on the marginalization of LGBTQ communities; digital footprints of how, where, and when human traffickers manage their logistics.

The lines of demarcation in protecting the privacy of individuals or exposing the blind spots of injustice via data science are certainly not binary pursuits.

Now more than ever, digital inclusion means much more than getting groups without internet access at home cheaper and faster broadband. I believe inclusion also requires that we enrich the data analysts sitting behind their algorithms with insights into our lived experiences to solve the kind of problems that will provide agency within our communities.

This week, the Charlotte Digital Inclusion Playbook was released. I lead the writing for this step-by-step overview of how the Digital Inclusion Alliance will reach its goals of reducing the digital divide in the city from 26% to 19% by 2026. Grab a glance when you get a chance and let me know if your city is mapping a road for access for all.

We work through the details.



IKEA Group Signs Agreement to Acquire TaskRabbit

Photo: IKEA

IKEA Press Room
Once completed, the acquisition would enable IKEA Group to provide consumers and IKEA customers with access to the services provided by the TaskRabbit Taskers. In addition to supporting consumers and IKEA customers in the United States and the United Kingdom, other countries may be added at a later date.
11 Black Startup and Tech Conferences You Should Attend This Fall

Photo: Blacktech Week

Felecia Hatcher | Huffington Post
Blacktech Week has put together a list of the must-attend conferences for black techies, entrepreneurs, startup founders and creatives to help you close out 2017 like a boss.
Senegalese Music Start-Ups Race to Become West Africa’s Spotify

Photo: Nellie Peyton / REUTERS

Nellie Peyton | Reuters
Many of the new industry entrants like MusikBi and JokkoText are based in Dakar, which is an emerging tech start-up hub for Francophone West Africa, partly thanks to the fact it has enjoyed relative political and economic stability compared with most of its neighbors.
Snoop Dogg’s Venture Capital Firm is Leading an Investment in a Cannabis Tech Company

Photo: Richard Shotwell / AP

Jeremy Berke | Business Insider
Snoop Dogg’s fund, Casa Verde, led a $2 million seed round in Trellis, a cannabis inventory management firm. Trellis develops software to help dispensaries and other plant-touching businesses comply with regulatory requirements, including seed-to-sale tracking.
Amazon Dollars Might be Coming to Philly as Part of $300M STEM Education Push

Photo: TechGirlz

Roberto Torres | Technical.ly Philly
Per the New York Times, The funds will be disbursed in a five-year period, and proposals focusing on girls and students from minority backgrounds will be favored.


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