Latimer is Making AI More Diverse and Inclusive

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Martina Bretous
Martina Bretous

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Dubbed the BlackGPT, a new large language model named Latimer is trained on Black history and culture.

latimer ai search engine
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Its goal is to promote better interactions with users and mitigate bias.

Here‘s how it works, who it’s for, and what its founders hope to accomplish.

How Latimer Fights Bias

AI models are riddled with bias – through investigations like Bloomberg’s, we’ve seen them lean into damaging stereotypes.

While AI companies like OpenAI and Google aim for bias-free models, they’re built on sources that are anything but. So, therein lies the issue Latimer is attempting to solve.

latimer ai LLM homepage

Founded in mid 2023, Latimer was built on Meta’s AI model Llama 2. While its focus is on the Black community, this LLM is also trained on Indigenous and LatinX culture heritage and its intersection with Black culture.

“We are establishing the building blocks of what the future of AI needs to include, and in doing so, we are working to create an equitable and necessary layer of technology that can be utilized by all demographics,” said founder and CEO John Pasmore in the company’s first pxress release.

How does Latimer source its content?

Those efforts were led by African studies scholar and professor Molefi Kete Asante who partnered with universities (specifically HBCUs) and Black media companies.

“Black and Brown publishers want to both financially benefit from having produced this content but also don't want the content to be so siloed, that you can only get accurate information from one place, even if it's Latimer,” Pasmore said to Business Insider.

In terms of its audience, Latimer serves education centers, universities, and brands, as well as the general public.

They’ve already partnered with several colleges and universities, including Morgan State University to test the LLM model and develop bias-detecting software.

Who has access to Latimer?

Latimer currently offers three plans:

  • A free plan which gives users up to 100 interactions with its conversational AI chatbot to ask questions about BIPOC history and culture.
  • An individual plan, which starts at $9.99/month, and offers additional features, such as file uploads, unlimited messages, chat exports, and quicker response times.
  • An organization plan, with custom pricing, for those looking to combine the power of AI with diversity and inclusion at the forefronth.

latimer pricing

Once it’s ready for wide release – expected in Q2 of this year – Latimer will give companies access to its datasets and a bias detection tool.

Pricing wise for the API, Latimer CEO says it will be comparable to OpenAI’s.

“...we have a unique dataset, that has licensed data and that is valuable to organizations that want to interact with us by API," said Pasmore said to Business Insider.

While AI companies like Anthropic, Google and OpenAI move at the speed of light to gain market share, companies like Latimer are focusing on impact.

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