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Hack/Hackers Open Source AI Hackathon at Brown Institute

In this post:

  • Hack/Hackers and the Brown Institute hosted an Open Source AI Hackathon.
  • Journalists and engineers gathered to discuss innovative ways of finding solutions and to innovate new products for the media.
  • Co sponsored by Hugging Face and Codingspace, the event was attended by students and people from different fields.

Hack/Hackers and the Brown Institute of Columbia University co hosted an event this weekend called the Open Source AI Hackathon. The three day event was arranged to bring together journalists and coders in one place to jointly build something useful from a journalism perspective. Among the attendees were engineers, journalists, reporters, curious minded people from all walks of life, and, of course, students. Many of them had their own ideas about models they would like to be build while many attended to meet people with suplimentary skills so that they could learn about building with AI tools.

Open Source AI Hackathon

The event was sponsored by Hugging Face and Codingspace. The organizers are of the idea that open source large language models are coping up with closed models with new advances. The difference is decreasing in their performance, and it brings the opportunity to run AI models on private servers, which is helpful in preserving data security, as relying on third party systems always puts the data at risk of being leaked through system vulnerabilities.

According to Burt Herman, who is currently the board chair at Hack/Hackers, an entrepreneur, and also a journalist, 

“Technology is how people consume media,”

He said, 

“In some ways, we’re still basically printing paper on the internet—writing x thousand words and putting it on a page.”

While he considers traditional journalism important, he is also a technologist and is interested in bringing together journalists and tech nerds to create something new that will help people digest media in a new way, as he thinks there are more possibilities with artificial intelligence. Herman said,

“I think about how many more things we can do now, because you have this device that’s interactive.”

Source: cjr.org

We have seen different experiments from different media outlets in the past year, trying different ways to present information to customers through the use of LLMs. A recent mishap on the X platform, previously Twitter, also happened due to the same experiment, which went horribly wrong when X launched its Explore feature for trending news. Read more about it here.

Though the experiment backfired, which could have been saved with a little more care, but it was also part of this same philosophy of presenting and consuming media differently. 

Bringing together journalists and engineers for better solutions

Speaking of the event, according to the Brown Institute, the purpose of the hackathon was to evaluate how these AI models can affect our lives, our relationships with our societies, even our families, and also how we interact with public and private institutions and our associations with them. It was also discussed how generative AI will be utilized to engage people in a better way in the election process this year.

AI’s role in new product innovation for journalism and sustainable business models was also debated. Ways of benefiting from AI for investigation from a journalist’s point of view were also part of the agenda, along with training new models to increase trust by focusing on accuracy. The main theme was to come up with new pilot projects that had never been thought of before.

Though the event allowed only hundred participants due to space availability issues, but the idea of bringing journalists and technologists together is a novel approach to finding solutions and innovative ways to speed up the tasks that we do in our daily lives, especially journalists. As involving the people of the primary domain with engineers obviously has a good impact on innovative efforts, which was the main appeal of the AI hackathon. 

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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