Open-source AI hackathon for journalists: Catalyzing new forms of journalism and civic discourse.

Feb 28, 2024

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Join Hacks/Hackers and the Brown Institute for Media Innovation at Columbia University for an in-person open-source AI hackathon, starting at 5pm ET on Friday, April 5th. The hackathon is sponsored by Hugging Face and Codingscape.

Participants in the hackathon will spend a weekend building with open-source AI for experiments relating to journalism and civic information. ​We invite people with little-to-no technical background, as well as those who might be expert in Machine Learning and AI.

Space is limited, and we encourage anyone interested to apply to attend, including developers, journalists, designers, and business and strategy experts.

About the hackathon: The latest open source, large language models are rapidly becoming as capable as closed models, meaning these powerful technologies can be deployed on private servers with bespoke data fueling new experiences.

​As these models become accessible, it’s natural to ask how their use might affect our daily lives — how will open source, large language models shape our relationship with both public and private institutions, and how will these technologies influence how we make decisions that affect our families, our communities, and our world?

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Other questions this hackathon will explore include:

​- In this critical election year in the U.S., how might we leverage generative AI to better inform citizens to engage in the democratic process? ​How might AI help launch new products that create sustainable business models for journalism? Or improve and expand how we conduct investigations?

​- What new personalized experiences are enabled by AI?

​- How might we train models to increase accuracy and trust? And while we’re at it, design platforms that ensure a human is in the loop?

  • ​What else can we dream up and prototype that no one has seen before? ​ The hackathon will kick off on Friday evening, April 5th, with a mixer and pitch session for groups to come together, followed by a day and a half of work Saturday and Sunday, ending with final pitches to share.

Meals are provided; the hackathon will be held in-person at the Brown Institute for Media Innovation at 2950 Broadway Avenue, New York.

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