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Today we’re joined by Alex Hanna, the Director of Research at the Distributed AI Research Institute (DAIR). In our conversation with Alex, we discuss the topic of AI hype and the importance of tackling the issues and impacts it has on society. Alex highlights how the hype cycle started, concerning use cases, incentives driving people towards the rapid commercialization of AI tools, and the need for robust evaluation tools and frameworks to assess and mitigate the risks of these technologies. We also talked about DAIR and how they’ve crafted their research agenda. We discuss current research projects like DAIR Fellow Asmelash Teka Hadgu’s research supporting machine translation and speech recognition tools for the low-resource Amharic and Tigrinya languages of Ethiopia and Eritrea, in partnership with his startup Lesan.AI. We also explore the “Do Data Sets Have Politics” paper, which focuses on coding various variables and conducting a qualitative analysis of computer vision data sets to uncover the inherent politics present in data sets and the challenges in data set creation.