A tech enthusiast group gathered at the University of Southern California on Saturday for the Y3K Innovation Summit, aiming to show marginalized communities how artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and other technologies can benefit them. The conference, organized by the blockchain diversity group NFTCLT, aimed to make technology accessible to everyone, not just those who can afford expensive tickets.
The summit focused on putting AI, blockchain, and the metaverse in front of students in a way they can understand, ensuring that people of color and minority groups are not left behind in the discussion around emerging technologies. The goal is to enable these communities to adapt and utilize technology rather than be overwhelmed by it.
One of the key benefits of AI highlighted during the conference was its potential to enhance efficiency in areas like healthcare, where it can quickly diagnose diseases and guide treatment. This is particularly important for marginalized communities that often lack access to adequate healthcare resources.
Tony Bravado, one of the organizers, emphasized the importance of representation in the tech industry. He stated that only 1% of black people and minorities receive funding or representation in the space. Therefore, Y3K made sure all the facilitators were people of color, providing a connection to the community that should be available to everyone.
The conference featured discussions, workshops, and hands-on experiences with technologies like blockchain gaming. The venue, located in the basement of USC’s Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Library, offered podcasting rooms, video production facilities, and high-powered gaming computers.
Josiah Way, former director of learning environments at USC, praised the conference and the unique features of the venue. He highlighted the NFT Art Gallery, hologram creator, and 3D modeling equipment as examples of the multidisciplinary environment that fosters collaboration and creativity.
The Y3K Innovation Summit and its focus on inclusivity and accessibility demonstrate the potential for technology to empower marginalized communities. By equipping these communities with the knowledge and skills to navigate emerging technologies, there is an opportunity to bridge the digital divide and unlock innovative solutions to global challenges.