Facebook says that it will expand an online course in deep learning to more students to help improve the diversity of its AI division. After a successful pilot program at Georgia Tech, the company will roll out this graduate-level course in deep learning to more colleges across 2021. The focus will be on offering the system to universities that serve large numbers of Black and Latinx students. It’s hoped that, by improving the diversity of the people building these systems, some of the more odious biases will be weeded out.
This is part of a broader program to encourage people to enter the computer science field even if their undergraduate training is in another area. In 2019, the company put $4.2 million into Northeastern University’s Align program which helps encourage under-represented groups take graduate programs. It helps, too, that the global pandemic means that there’s a greater embrace of online learning, which itself can reach people that would otherwise be unable to participate.