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Australia Blog

Diversity and Inclusion

Promoting pride and respect with artificial intelligence

At Google, we think everyone should be able to express themselves online, so we want to make conversations more inclusive. Sometimes the labels we use to describe ourselves and our loved ones can be used to harass people online - but technology can help.

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We launched Project Respect at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Fair Day. 

We’re kicking off Project Respect at the 2018 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras to help make conversations more inclusive. We’ll be asking people to write a statement about themselves, or someone they love and respect, to help reclaim positive identity labels.

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Googlers Kirstin Sillitoe and Sam Worne help to launch Project Respect. 

These statements will contribute to an open source data set, which coders, developers and technologists all over the world can use to help teach artificial intelligence models how the LGBTIQ+ community speak about themselves.

One of those AI algorithms is called Perspective, a tool that is currently being offered on a limited basis to international news websites to assist them in their moderation efforts. One of its uses is to highlight the toxicity of a comment to you, while you’re writing it. That gives you, as the writer, an opportunity to reflect, reconsider and edit your comment, making conversations more inclusive.

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Perspective helps to highlight the possible toxicity of a comment, while you're writing it. 

And while Project Respect began in Sydney, it’s also being rolled out to other countries, meaning the data we gather will represent the LGBTIQ+ community on a global scale. Google is a proud supporter of the LGBTIQ+ community through our sponsorship of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Community Parade Grants.

At Google, we encourage people to bring their whole selves to work. In all of our offices around the world we are committed to cultivating a work environment where Googlers can be themselves and thrive.

We also want our employees to have the same inclusive experience outside of the office, and for LGBTIQ+ communities to be safe and to be accepted wherever they are, both in the world around us and online.

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The Google team behind Project Respect. 

It’s been so great working alongside such a talented, passionate team to bring Project Respect to life. Many of us on the team identify as LGBTIQ+ - including me - and so we’ve experienced both the pride of being part of that community, and some of the challenges, first hand.

I grew up in an era when the word ‘queer’ was being (rightly!) reclaimed - and because the people who’ve gone before me fought that fight, I can now use that word with pride!

So I’m shouting about Project Respect to everyone … the more data we have from our own community, the more our online conversations will be a true reflection of the language we are proud to use.”

Don’t forget to visit Project Respect and share your statement.