Helping A.I. to Learn About Indigenous Cultures

In September 2021, Native American technology students in high school and college gathered at a conference in Phoenix and were asked to create photo tags — word associations, essentially — for a series of images.

The workshop was the initiative of Intelligent Voices of Wisdom, or IVOW, a tech start-up that Ms. Ardalan, an executive producer of audio at National Geographic, founded to preserve culture through A.I. and to counter those biases.

Using Neo4j, a graph database management system, the recipes were broken down into components (title, ingredients, instructions and related stories) and tagged with information, like the tribe of origin or whether the recipe was contemporary or historical, or had roots in folklore.

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