Indigenous Knowledge and AI

Indigenous knowledge, for the most part, exists in the form of oral histories, ancient texts in the original language, paper archives, and unstructured Wikipedia entries. How can their digital transformation into AI-suitable datasets represent an important step in helping future machines become aware of global cultures? Join us as our guests demo an indigenous knowledge graph on the evolution of food from the vantage point of Cherokee, Crow, Navajo, ancient Persian, Samoan, and Timorese traditions and discuss ways it could nurture sustainable actions and make AI more culturally aware. Also, the Cherokee language has been spoken for more than 3500 years and written since 1821. Since the creation of the Cherokee Syllabary by Sequoyah, the history of the United States was written by the newest arrivals, however there are over 2 million documents in existence written in the Cherokee Syllabary. Using technology that includes AI, learn about ways we can unlock the words, stories, and history, from the mellennia-old voices of our ancestors.

Contributors: Alva Lim, Co-Founder and Director of Agora Food Studio by the Timor-Leste Food Lab, Samira Ardalan of Avicenna Cuisine and Robert Oliver, world-renowned chef leading the Pacific Island Food Revolution.

Speakers, Panelists and Moderators

  • DAVAR ARDALAN
    DAVAR ARDALAN
    Founder and Storyteller; AI for Culture preservation Solution Track Co-Chair
    IVOW AI, Inc.
    Davar Ardalan is the Founder and Storyteller in Chief of IVOW, an early stage startup specializing in AI-driven cultural content, aiming to make navigating the global marketplace easier via cultural analysis. She is also the former Deputy Director of the White House Presidential Innovation Fellowship Program in Washington D.C. Prior to this, she was a public broadcasting journalist for two decades at NPR News, where she designed stories anchored in multiculturalism and steeped in historical context. In 2015, her last position at NPR was senior producer of the Identity and Culture Unit. Realizing that there is a gaping hole in AI algorithms that will define our future, she created IVOW, bringing together a team of journalists and technologists to design cultural IQ in AI. At NPR, as a Senior Producer of Weekend Edition and Morning Edition, Ardalan was responsible for editorial and production decisions that required elaborate coordination and planning, such as shaping Morning Edition broadcasts from Baghdad, Kabul and New Orleans. Ardalan has also served as Director of Storytelling at the open innovation agency SecondMuse. There, she helmed storytelling efforts for various campaigns, including NASA's International Space Apps Challenge and Australian Aid innovation programs in Timor-Leste, Tonga and Fiji. Ardalan, who has also served as Executive Producer at Hanson Robotics, has been recognized with a 2017 NASA Team Leadership award for Space Apps, a Gracie Award from the American Women in Radio and Television and a shout-out in the popular comic strip Zippy. In May 2014, she was the recipient of a United States Ellis Island Medal of Honor for individual achievement and for promoting cultural unity. Ardalan began her radio career as a reporter in 1991 at NPR Member Station KUNM in Albuquerque, NM. In 1984, she was an English news anchor at IRIB News broadcasting throughout the Persian Gulf Region.
  • BURR SETTLES
    BURR SETTLES
    Head of Research & AI
    Duolingo
    Burr Settles is the Head of Research & AI at Duolingo, the world’s largest language-learning platform with the mission of making education free and accessible to all. In his role, Burr spearheads the AI strategy for Duolingo’s learning app and the Duolingo English Test. He is the author of Active Learning, the standard text on adaptive machine learning algorithms. His research has been published in Cognitive Science as well as major AI venues such as NuerIPS, ICML, and AAAI, and has been covered by The New York Times, Slate, Forbes, WIRED, and BBC. Previously, Burr was a postdoc at Carnegie Mellon and earned a PhD from UW-Madison.
  • CHAMISA EDMO
    CHAMISA EDMO
    Conversational AI Writer
    Chamisa is a citizen of the Navajo Nation, Blackfeet and Shoshone-Bannock and resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Indigenous and American Indian Studies, with an emphasis in Tribal Sovereignty, from Haskell Indian Nations University. She is currently working toward a Masters in Computer Science. She is a certified full stack developer and has worked on various web development and robotics projects in her post-baccalaureate career. Chamisa worked for Hanson Robotics as a conversational AI character writer for Sophia the Robot and at CNM Ingenuity as an Assistant Instructor for the Deep Dive Coding Fullstack Bootcamp. In addition to high tech projects, Chamisa is also interested in exploring how North American tribes and Indigenous populations around the world can leverage technology while exercising tribal sovereignty and self-determination.
  • TRACY MONTEITH
    TRACY MONTEITH
    Senior Software Engineer
    Microsoft
    Tracy Monteith is a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee and Senior Software Engineer at Microsoft. His decades-long work as an innovative technologist and leader have produced unique results on a global scale. Tracy has received a first place finish in world’s largest private hackathon (23K participants, 400 cities world-wide) for AI approach to translating tribal-polymorphic languages and a second place finish for an IoT, cloud-connected beehive-sensor array. His passion for hackathons is shared with thousands of STEM-focussed tribal students across North America as he conducts hackathons for tribal schools. Tracy was the driving force and technical-innovator behind the inclusion of the Cherokee Syllabary in Windows and Office, the first tribal language with that distinction. His work continues with enhancing polymorphic-languages preservation and dissemination through the infusion of appropriate technology into indigenous circles.
  • WOLFGANG VICTOR YARLOTT
    WOLFGANG VICTOR YARLOTT
    AI Researcher
    Florida International University
    Wolfgang Victor Yarlott is a member of the Native American Crow tribe. Yarlott’s pioneering research took place with the Genesis Story Understanding System at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. In collaboration with his Professor Patrick Winston, Yarlott wanted to determine whether the system could understand stories from Crow folklore as well as it understood the works of Shakespeare. At first his “audience” was the program itself — he wanted to instill an understanding.
  • ALVA LIM
    ALVA LIM
    Co-Founder and Director
    Agora Food Studio
    Agora Food Studio is a plant-foward restaurant created by the Timor-Leste Food Lab - a social enterprise dedicated to mentoring future food and coffee innovators. The Timor-Leste Food Lab represents a community of people that believe in a simple, but powerful idea: "Food should be good, clean and fair for producers, eaters and the environment. We believe in a food system that celebrates biodiversity and nourishes the planet; a food system that creates healthy communities where everyone can eat, and eat well." We are based in Timor-Leste, located 8.8 degrees south of the equator. This half-island nation is part of a greater archipelagic region with profound food diversity and bio-cultural history that we hope to research, experiment, taste and document, and then share to a wider audience. Every day is an exploration.
RESOURCES

Hourly Schedule

16:00 - 16:05
Welcome message
16:05 - 16:25
Keynote followed by Q&A
Speaker:
BURR SETTLES
16:25 - 16:35
Panel discussion
Moderator:
DAVAR ARDALAN
Speakers:
CHAMISA EDMO , TRACY MONTEITH , WOLFGANG VICTOR YARLOTT , ALVA LIM
16:35 - 16:45
Demo
Moderator:
DAVAR ARDALAN
16:45 - 16:55
Lighting talk
Speaker:
TRACY MONTEITH
16:55 - 17:15
Q&A and closing
Moderator:
DAVAR ARDALAN
BURR SETTLES
BURR SETTLES
Head of Research & AI
Indigenous knowledge, for the most part, exists in the form of oral histories, ancient texts in the original language, paper archives, and unstructured Wikipedia entries. How can their digital transformation into AI-suitable datasets represent an important step in helping future machines become aware of global cultures? Join us as our guests demo an indigenous knowledge graph on the evolution of food from the vantage point of Cherokee, Crow, Navajo, ancient Persian, Samoan, and Timorese traditions and discuss ways it could nurture sustainable actions and make AI more culturally aware. Also, the Cherokee language has been spoken for more than 3500 years and written since 1821. Since the creation of the Cherokee Syllabary by Sequoyah, the history of the United States was written by the newest arrivals, however there are over 2 million documents in existence written in the Cherokee Syllabary. Using technology that includes AI, learn about ways we can unlock the words, stories, and history, from the mellennia-old voices of our ancestors. Contributors: Alva Lim, Co-Founder and Director of Agora Food Studio by the Timor-Leste Food Lab, Samira Ardalan of Avicenna Cuisine and Robert Oliver, world-renowned chef leading the Pacific Island Food Revolution.
DAVAR ARDALAN
DAVAR ARDALAN
Founder and Storyteller; AI for Culture preservation Solution Track Co-Chair
Indigenous knowledge, for the most part, exists in the form of oral histories, ancient texts in the original language, paper archives, and unstructured Wikipedia entries. How can their digital transformation into AI-suitable datasets represent an important step in helping future machines become aware of global cultures? Join us as our guests demo an indigenous knowledge graph on the evolution of food from the vantage point of Cherokee, Crow, Navajo, ancient Persian, Samoan, and Timorese traditions and discuss ways it could nurture sustainable actions and make AI more culturally aware. Also, the Cherokee language has been spoken for more than 3500 years and written since 1821. Since the creation of the Cherokee Syllabary by Sequoyah, the history of the United States was written by the newest arrivals, however there are over 2 million documents in existence written in the Cherokee Syllabary. Using technology that includes AI, learn about ways we can unlock the words, stories, and history, from the mellennia-old voices of our ancestors. Contributors: Alva Lim, Co-Founder and Director of Agora Food Studio by the Timor-Leste Food Lab, Samira Ardalan of Avicenna Cuisine and Robert Oliver, world-renowned chef leading the Pacific Island Food Revolution.
CHAMISA EDMO
CHAMISA EDMO
Conversational AI Writer
Indigenous knowledge, for the most part, exists in the form of oral histories, ancient texts in the original language, paper archives, and unstructured Wikipedia entries. How can their digital transformation into AI-suitable datasets represent an important step in helping future machines become aware of global cultures? Join us as our guests demo an indigenous knowledge graph on the evolution of food from the vantage point of Cherokee, Crow, Navajo, ancient Persian, Samoan, and Timorese traditions and discuss ways it could nurture sustainable actions and make AI more culturally aware. Also, the Cherokee language has been spoken for more than 3500 years and written since 1821. Since the creation of the Cherokee Syllabary by Sequoyah, the history of the United States was written by the newest arrivals, however there are over 2 million documents in existence written in the Cherokee Syllabary. Using technology that includes AI, learn about ways we can unlock the words, stories, and history, from the mellennia-old voices of our ancestors. Contributors: Alva Lim, Co-Founder and Director of Agora Food Studio by the Timor-Leste Food Lab, Samira Ardalan of Avicenna Cuisine and Robert Oliver, world-renowned chef leading the Pacific Island Food Revolution.
TRACY MONTEITH
TRACY MONTEITH
Senior Software Engineer
Indigenous knowledge, for the most part, exists in the form of oral histories, ancient texts in the original language, paper archives, and unstructured Wikipedia entries. How can their digital transformation into AI-suitable datasets represent an important step in helping future machines become aware of global cultures? Join us as our guests demo an indigenous knowledge graph on the evolution of food from the vantage point of Cherokee, Crow, Navajo, ancient Persian, Samoan, and Timorese traditions and discuss ways it could nurture sustainable actions and make AI more culturally aware. Also, the Cherokee language has been spoken for more than 3500 years and written since 1821. Since the creation of the Cherokee Syllabary by Sequoyah, the history of the United States was written by the newest arrivals, however there are over 2 million documents in existence written in the Cherokee Syllabary. Using technology that includes AI, learn about ways we can unlock the words, stories, and history, from the mellennia-old voices of our ancestors. Contributors: Alva Lim, Co-Founder and Director of Agora Food Studio by the Timor-Leste Food Lab, Samira Ardalan of Avicenna Cuisine and Robert Oliver, world-renowned chef leading the Pacific Island Food Revolution.
WOLFGANG VICTOR YARLOTT
WOLFGANG VICTOR YARLOTT
AI Researcher
Indigenous knowledge, for the most part, exists in the form of oral histories, ancient texts in the original language, paper archives, and unstructured Wikipedia entries. How can their digital transformation into AI-suitable datasets represent an important step in helping future machines become aware of global cultures? Join us as our guests demo an indigenous knowledge graph on the evolution of food from the vantage point of Cherokee, Crow, Navajo, ancient Persian, Samoan, and Timorese traditions and discuss ways it could nurture sustainable actions and make AI more culturally aware. Also, the Cherokee language has been spoken for more than 3500 years and written since 1821. Since the creation of the Cherokee Syllabary by Sequoyah, the history of the United States was written by the newest arrivals, however there are over 2 million documents in existence written in the Cherokee Syllabary. Using technology that includes AI, learn about ways we can unlock the words, stories, and history, from the mellennia-old voices of our ancestors. Contributors: Alva Lim, Co-Founder and Director of Agora Food Studio by the Timor-Leste Food Lab, Samira Ardalan of Avicenna Cuisine and Robert Oliver, world-renowned chef leading the Pacific Island Food Revolution.
ALVA LIM
ALVA LIM
Co-Founder and Director
Indigenous knowledge, for the most part, exists in the form of oral histories, ancient texts in the original language, paper archives, and unstructured Wikipedia entries. How can their digital transformation into AI-suitable datasets represent an important step in helping future machines become aware of global cultures? Join us as our guests demo an indigenous knowledge graph on the evolution of food from the vantage point of Cherokee, Crow, Navajo, ancient Persian, Samoan, and Timorese traditions and discuss ways it could nurture sustainable actions and make AI more culturally aware. Also, the Cherokee language has been spoken for more than 3500 years and written since 1821. Since the creation of the Cherokee Syllabary by Sequoyah, the history of the United States was written by the newest arrivals, however there are over 2 million documents in existence written in the Cherokee Syllabary. Using technology that includes AI, learn about ways we can unlock the words, stories, and history, from the mellennia-old voices of our ancestors. Contributors: Alva Lim, Co-Founder and Director of Agora Food Studio by the Timor-Leste Food Lab, Samira Ardalan of Avicenna Cuisine and Robert Oliver, world-renowned chef leading the Pacific Island Food Revolution.
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Date

09 Jun 2020

Time

CEST, Geneva
16:00 - 17:15

Topics

Culture
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