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Organizations like Te Hiku Media raise concerns about Big Tech using their data to train systems like WhisperAI, "a speech recognition model trained on 680,000 hours of audio taken from the web."


Justice Area(s)

Community Health and Collective Security

Racial Justice

AI Impact(s)




New Zealand



The world's extensive history of colonization and its harm are clear as activists fight for Indigenous data sovereignty, saying "the way in which Whisper was created goes against everything we stand for. It's an unethical approach to data extraction and it disregards the harm that can be done by open sourcing multilingual models like these." They remind the industry that "when someone who doesn't have a stake in the language attempts to provide language services, they often do more harm than good." Ultimately, organizers want other tech orgs to follow their lead: "We respect data in that we look after it rather than claim ownership over it. This is similar to how Indigenous peoples look after land. We only use data in ways that align with our core values as an Indigenous organization and in ways that benefit the communities from which the data was gathered."

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