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Artificial intelligence is now part of our everyday digital lives. We’ve all had the experience of searching for answers on a website or app and finding ourselves interacting with a chatbot. At best, the bot can help navigate us to what we’re after; at worst, we’re usually led to unhelpful information.

But imagine you’re a queer person, and the dialogue you have with an AI somehow discloses that part of your identity, and the chatbot you hit up to ask routine questions about a product or service replies with a deluge of hate speech.

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Photo by Elias Marcou

Despite what American news cycles (fail to) say, the crisis in Ukraine is not over. This is clear to University of Southern California’s Innovation in Engineering and Design for Global Challenges program, which is looking to make an impact by giving students firsthand experience in international crises zones to create their own startup solutions.

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Justin Han

Some 15-odd years ago, the Alliance for SoCal Innovation put on a workshop for academics looking to wade into the world of commercialized technology.

Fast forward to 2022 and the Alliance is gearing up for the latest edition of its annual First Look SoCal Innovation Showcase, taking place Tuesday at the Skirball Cultural Center. This year’s lineup of 24 early-stage life sciences and tech startups—tapped from the Alliance’s network of universities and incubators—will have the chance to pitch their ventures and meet with potential investors, mentors and industry executives as they look for what, in most cases, will be their first round of commercial funding.

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