4ai was created in 2018 in order to support the inclusion of people with disabilities in the field of artificial intelligence.
Currently, in the United States alone, 82.1% of the billion people with disabilities are unemployed.
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 them in society today. Most prevalently, they are discriminated against in the workplace, due to the presence of employment bias, or the less favorable treatment of an employee or applicant because of their disability. This is seen when an employer does not hire potential employees due to their disability, fails to provide reasonable accommodations for the disabled employee, or fosters a toxic workplace environment in when the disabled employees are harassed.
Through reaching out to local organizations that work with people with disabilities, such as Abilities United and Ada’s Cafe, 4ai has discovered that with lower levels of employment, people with disabilities are often thrust into poverty, unable to pay for the sometimes costly medical attention they need due to their disabilities, creating a negative feedback loop in society: one that completely ignores the needs and rights of those with disabilities. Morally, the unfair treatment of these individuals is simply unjust and actions must be taken to work towards solving this immense issue.
The growing field of artificial intelligence has the potential to employ people with disabilities. With machine learning rapidly developing, there is a demand for labeled images. Labeling images requires human annotators, which opens up an employment opportunity for people with disabilities. Currently, AI is a field that employs few people with disabilities. While people with disabilities are fully capable of labeling images, they are not given the opportunity to. We aim to change that. Here at 4ai, we believe that talent is distributed evenly across different groups of people, but opportunities are not.
Considering these two important factors, we have decided to create a nonprofit, 4ai, through which we can give people with disabilities more opportunities to be involved in the field of artificial intelligence, while also providing them with social and financial independence. 4ai will be the first organization to exclusively hire people with disabilities in the field of AI, helping lower the high unemployment rate of people with disabilities, diversifying the field of AI, and serving as a role model for other companies.
All profits go directly to our employees.