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AI Uplifts Rainbow History, a long-running website dedicated to recording and making accessible Aotearoa New Zealand’s Rainbow heritage, has embarked on a project to make its almost 900 audio recordings more AI accessible.

“Access to Generative Artificial Intelligence, for example ChatGPT, over the last year has blossomed” says Gareth Watkins, founder of Pride NZ. “Web users can now use Gen AI to query the internet live, analyse specific knowledge repositories such as Wikipedia, and create new content with a simple prompt.”

“Gen AI has the possibility of being transformational for Takatāpui LGBTI+ Rainbow communities and other marginalised groups. Often our communities are juggling limited resources and volunteer time. Gen AI allows for the automation of time-consuming tasks. It allows content to be created for community websites, student projects and other non-profit resources.”

Watkins points to an example on, “We have a 3-hour long audio interview that can now be summarised and turned into a 600-word article in less than a minute. Gen AI will allow community members to significantly add rainbow representation to websites such as Wikipedia.”

Over the last year, Pride NZ has been developing and releasing its datasets relating to rainbow communities under a Creative Commons non-commercial license.

A Locations dataset contains geographic coordinates, titles and descriptions of locations of interest in New Zealand relating to Takatāpui Rainbow LGBTI+ communities – including places listed on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rārangi Kōrero.

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A Media dataset contains information on almost 900 audio recordings – titles, voices, tags and descriptions. “This dataset is the key to unlocking the richness in the Pride NZ collection”, says Watkins. “With this dataset, users can identify topics of interest and then utilise the speech-to-text AI time coded transcriptions on the website to find content. While not perfect, the transcriptions offer enough material for Gen AI models to correctly summarise and create articles based on the content.”

The AI transcriptions have now been joined with additional information about the recordings to create plain text versions of the content. “While these text files certainly don’t look flash, they are purposefully designed to be appealing to Gen AI models. We’ve experimented with ChatGPT 4 prompts such as ‘Write a 500-word article from this website address in the style of Wikipedia’ and the results are really exciting.”

Watkins concludes, “As we near Transgender Day of Remembrance on the 20th November, it is an important time to reflect on our rich Transgender history here in Aotearoa and make sure that this, along with other Rainbow histories, are reflected comprehensively online – and Gen AI can absolutely help achieve this.”

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