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Trojan Team's Bias-Busting App Wins Third Prize at Facebook Global Hackathon

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USC's prize-winning Team Artemis.

A team of four computer science students from the University of Southern California created a prize-winning tool for unconscious bias training.

Credit: Facebook Global Hackathon

Team Artemis of the University of Southern California (USC) won third prize at the 2017 Facebook Global Hackathon for a virtual reality (VR) tool designed to rid the workplace of gender bias.

The team developed Cue, an app that aims to find hidden prejudices by placing users into a scenario-based, immersive VR environment.

"We wanted to tackle the issue of workplace sexism and discrimination by building a VR simulation tool that combats traditionally dry, uninteresting compliance training," says Cherrie Wang of Team Artemis.

In one of the app's three interactive scenarios, a Team Artemis member in the VR space asks the user: "My friend Sam wants to switch teams; do you have any suggestions?" Although many users will assume that Sam is a male, the name also could apply to a female engineer. In this scenario, the app uses IBM Watson's speech-to-text application programming interface to identify and highlight specific gender pronouns, enabling users to confront hidden biases.

From USC Viterbi News
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