4ai, founded in 2018 by Cathy Hou and Ashley Poon, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that aims to dissolve the boundaries present in society between the disabled and able-bodied through the employment of people with disabilities in the field of artificial intelligence. One billion people, or 15% of the world’s population, experience some form of a disability‒a physical or mental impairment. However, even with such an immense community of people with disabilities, there is still much discrimination against people with disabilities in society today. In order to counteract the employment bias present in the workplace, the high unemployment rate of people with disabilities, and the lack of disabled employees in the field of artificial intelligence, 4ai will exclusively hire people with disabilities. They will be taught to tag various objects that are then sold to companies to be used in AI technology. Through this model, 4ai’s employees will be provided with an unique opportunity to gain their own financial and social independence and become involved in the field of AI. 4ai also hopes to serve as an example in the corporate world, showing other corporations the benefits of employing people with disabilities.
The name "4ai" perfectly encapsulates our mission. Literally speaking, our organization really is for the advancement of artificial intelligence, or AI. 4ai's main goal is to spread love and the inclusion of people with disabilities. 爱, pronounced “Ài,” is the Chinese word for love. 4ai: for AI and for love.
Our logo consists of two hands making a heart: one hand has five fingers while the other has four, representing the union of the disabled and able-bodied through love.
Kathleen Foley-Hughes: Executive Director and Founder of Ada's Cafe, Adviser
Andy Poggio: Computer Scientist at SRI International, AAR Mentor
Yuhan Li: Software Engineer at Uber AI Labs, Consultant
Steven Garcia: Software Engineer at Pinterest, Consultant
Tarn Wilson: AAR Adviser
Wendy Xiong: Photographer