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Editor’s Note: Artificial Intelligence Demands Diversity
By Marianne Mallon
Social Work Today
Vol. 19 No. 6 P. 3

Like it or not, our daily lives have become inexorably connected with artificial intelligence (AI). It seems anyone with a digital device (and we are many) are under the direction of those devices and their developers.

Much like life, AI is imperfect and change happens. One of those necessary changes is reevaluation of AI systems to include a more diverse cadre of designers with many more voices and experiences than the longstanding traditional developers who have been mostly male and mostly white.

Thankfully, that is starting to change. This issue’s cover story by Sue Coyle, MSW, reports on why the change is needed and what the leaders and change agents for diversity in AI are saying about how ongoing inequities have affected people of color and many others who don’t conform to behaviors, appearances, and other factors that have been determined “standard” because those standards reflected their limited worldview.

This feature is a must for all social workers, behavioral health and human services professionals, social justice advocates, and anyone who cares about a more just present and future for everyone as this world undergoes “tech”-tonic changes.

Also in this issue is another excellent feature by Ann Callahan, PhD, LCSW, who explores the end-of-life experience of atheists. Do those who have no religious beliefs or connection to what is commonly considered “faith” still have spiritual needs?

Deborah Siegel, PhD, LICSW, DCSW, ACSW, writes about the risks of commonly available DNA test kits that do not adequately prepare purchasers for unexpected and/or negative test results and what social workers should know to help their clients in those situations.

The feature on aging out of foster care by Nadine Hasenecz, MSW, LSW, informs readers of the multiple factors and risks for youth who exit the foster care system once they exceed an age limit but are still unequipped with basic skills to live and thrive in a complex world.

Enjoy the issue! Good wishes to all who celebrate this season and comfort to those for whom it is an especially challenging time. I welcome your comments and feedback at SWTeditor@gvpub.com.

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Marianne Mallon