Understanding Bias and Championing Diverse TeamsTechnology is often part of a solution in many industries, including legal. Document automation has been around for several years ' reading text, identifying key words, and automating the process of filing docs. Some argue artificial intelligence (AI) would be beneficial in the justice system because the AI system, unlike a human juror or judge, won't be biased, hungry, or affected by outside influences. However, Ansari points out that the data we feed to the machines that help them learn, analyze and find patterns often contains biases based on race or gender that can create problems that become bigger over time.One way to help eliminate these biases is to have diversity when it comes to teams, data collection, and problem solving. The teams that compete in the X Prize competitions to find solutions to the climate crisis and environmental issues are often diverse, Ansari said. Competitors include junior high students, a real estate agent and his mechanic who won the per gallon competition, and a tattoo artist with his dentist who made it to the finals of an oil cleanup competition.'Diversity in your team brings diversity in ideas, and that's where the best innovation comes from.'Ansari said she always looks to the future with a hopeful set of eyes and believes technology can provide solutions. 'Technology is the tool, and the only way it can hurt or help us is the way we use the tool. I believe with our power of imagination and wanting to build a better life, that we can imagine that world and build it together.'
Three Ways to Encourage Imagination and CreativityWhat can organizations do to encourage team members to use their imaginations and be innovative? Ansari outlined three areas to focus on:
- Environment. 'It may be clich??, but you need to foster an environment where failures are accepted, and people don't fear failure. If they feel that failure is something that will reflect badly on them, they will never bring it up.'
- Collaboration. 'Create space and opportunity where they can bring their ideas and can collaborate on them. Good ideas are not necessarily the first idea. Good ideas are the ones someone comes up with, but a group of people can build on top of that.'
- Solve a real need. Whether it's a problem you experience, an improvement you want to make for your organization, or an issue facing a client, 'it has to come from a need that you are solving a problem, not just doing it for the sake of doing it. Those types of things don't normally succeed.'
- Your imagination can unlock innovation and solutions to many real problems facing your organization or clients.
- Diversity is key in innovation as it will help minimize biases in data and lead to different ideas.
- Don't be afraid of failure. Learn from your mistakes and keep trying to find the solution.
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