We are on the spectrum, it's time to change the world and technology accordingly
There is no same mind or talent pattern, but an infinite spectrum of shades and colors. Let’s co-create ecosystems, algorithms and policies behind it with this vision in mind
Until today ecosystems were designed by one vision and after that, we just tried to “include” others to this monopoly of design thinking: women, neurodivergent or disabled people, minority groups. Even though it doesn’t fit them – its nature, logic, mechanism, and definitions…Existing algorithms, research approaches, policies and technologies only amplify this bias and exclusion, until criteria, representation, environments and frameworks are fixed.
At least 1 in 6 people living with one or more neurological conditions, 1 in 7 are neurodivergent, 1 in 4 adults — suffers from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. All of these differences connected to the spectrum of ability and comorbidity, sensibility, physical and tactile experiences, visual and color experiences, differences in the systems of learning, memorizing, systemizing, empathizing. These “invisible disabilities” lead to the biggest level of social exclusion, isolation and rejection across all conditions and states. Unemployment among those with autism is approximately 85%, severe mental health disorders – 68%-83%, Down syndrome – 43%.
Along with the systems, perception and ability, there is another critical level – layers of research and criteria, including gender, intersectionality, social and economic parameters. Thus, women are 4 times rarer diagnosed due to use the same criteria as used for males, social classes beyond the middle class, particularly ethnic and social groups are frequently not presented in the research.
We are the women and diversity-led allies, working in a bottom-up way to reshape the future of algorithmic diversity and accessibility – from technology and research to public policy and societal effects.
Envision The World Through The Divergent Lens
Our work is intersectional: we form the visions of technology stacks, algorithms and environments, work on ethics frameworks and policy suggestions, organize hackathons, spend talks and build the map of ambassadors to spread it in every corner of the world. Here is how you can act.
Become a public leader ambassador. If you are a public leader, governor, institution or organization, check our recent documents, frameworks and suggestions to technology research, evaluation and policies. Help us to make algorithms, classrooms, workplaces, cities and ecosystems more inclusive, safe and accessible for everyone.
Become a coder ambassador. If you are a AI professional, coder, developer, or innovator check our visions of which algorithms, skills and technologies shape the future of accessibility, check our hackathons to build these things or learn how to organize/bring it to your region.
Become a research ambassador. If you are an AI researcher or explorer, check our vision of how to research and evaluate technologies and algorithms for divergent groups and spectrums, or join our working group to improve these frameworks further.
Become an experiences ambassador. If you are an AI artist, creator or technologist, working on experiential projects - help us to create environments, experiences, realities and installations which allow to share how people can feel, think, empathize differently.
Become an influencer or community ambassador. We've spent over 60 worldwide talks in 2020-21, and now our mission is to spread it everywhere, in any language. If you want to organize talk at your ecosystem or community, prepare a documentary or report - just ping us, we will provide you with all materials and information.
Projects & works
We can find social robotics at classrooms of americal schools, AI for dyslexia in Denmark, and supporting program in the UK and Australia. Though, there is still a lot of work. until 2019 there were no frameworks focused on research and development targeting artificial intelligence and disability, until 2020 - artificial intelligence and children. At the same, the neurodivergent technology research and deployment presenting the intersectional spectrum brings even more challenges and questions. If you are a public leader, governor or organization, check our recent "Halo vision", recommendation to research and technology evaluation, taking into account diversity, accessibility and human rights.
To date, the ecosystem of technologies and solutions targeting neurodivergent individuals and/or individuals with similar or related psycho-neurological conditions is complex and sophisticated. It includes AI-driven hiring platforms, social robots in classrooms, smart glasses for emotion recognition, speech recognition apps, eye-tracking, biofeedback, virtual and augmented reality for emerging education, data analytics dashboards, various assistive and tracking devices and other solutions. Learn which technologies, algorithms and skills matter for our movement, organize hackathon in your region or join existing ones.
Criteria and mechanisms behind this ecosystem encompass technology, medicine, social, economic and demographic criteria, bioethics. it includes the type of the spectrum, ability and comorbidity, gender, sensibility, physical and tactile experiences, visual and color experiences, differences in the systems of learning, memorizing, systemizing, empathizing, mechanisms of caregivers, human involvement, safety and privacy. This complex of criteria becomes the foundation for not only the design research but also transparent and biasless development and deployment of AI systems, which use training data across a variety of criteria, taking into account possible correlation, fluctuation short and long-term effects. If you are researcher or designer - don't hesitate to use, co-create and develop further our work and recommendations.
Can we create augmented environments for (neuro)divergent individuals using colors, sounds, tactile, physical and nonphysical experiences? Can we control synthesizers or external interfaces using biofeedback? Can we use it for purposes of learning, mental health or assistance? Divergents have unique patterns of how they react to light, sounds, particular environments and situations (not mentioning over a hundred of comorbid conditions and cases). It's not only important to avoid harmful or negative experiences, but also to create whole environments, ecosystems, or scenarios for purposes of assistive learning, healthcare, mental health, social development. If you work on AI art, experiential, interactive projects - help us to use these methods to embrace differences.
In 2020/21 we've spent over 60 world appearances to bring awareness to the neurodiversity/ability exclusion crisis, the role of social AI, robotics, human-centered research and evaluation. Currently we work on new series and projects. Moreover, our goal is to bring this vision in other forms - series, documentaries, installations, exhibitions. Stay in touch with our series and talks, and help to spread it further - across languages, countries and communities.
We are the women and diversity-led allies, working in a bottom-up way to reshape the future of algorithmic diversity and accessibility - from technology and research to public policy and societal effects. Following our previous appearances, involvements and works with our peers and allies across North America, the European Union, Asia Pacific and MENA, currently, we are forming the long-term initiative, working group, ambassadors, ally organizations and ecosystems behind it to connect all the dots and layers. If we are on the same mission, kindly ask you to connect directly or leave your comment with quick information (ex. - ecosystem, institution, researcher and related links).