SXSW 2022

The Importance of Democratizing AI


Less than 1% of nonprofits report being data-driven, and that's a problem. As AI capabilities are often too costly for nonprofit organizations to afford, this technology can mainly be found concentrated in the world's wealthiest companies. Scientists and engineers have begun donating their skill sets to democratize AI in order to further the mission of impactful organizations. Additionally, the democratization of these capabilities is fundamental for building public trust. As communities become more aware of technology's say over their everyday life, from facial recognition throughout cities to AI-informed sentencing systems, public organizations must rise to a higher standard of radical accountability.

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. The Trust Factor: ensuring the data-driven solution is democratized, not a blackbox solution that we don't understand
  2. Painting the Possible: Demonstrating real examples of AI being used to create public good, and exploring what can be done.
  3. Hurdles to Adoption: Addressing common barriers for entry for nonprofits, the need for capacity building, and AI's effects on downstream stakeholders.



Frances Jordan, Board Chair, Austin Justice Coalition

Meta Information:

  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Civic Engagement
  • Track 2 Tech Industry
  • Level: Intermediate

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