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Published on 6 May 2020 by web editor

Blog, CTRL Your Future

Have you watched our new 404 Not Found series and been inspired to use digital for good in AI, fashion or gaming? Or maybe you are new to digital and curious how to get started.  Either way, what should you do now?  In this blog, we share how digital skills education can be your next step, and which of our partners’ courses you can take to start rebooting the industry.

In March and April, we launched 404 Not Found – a new IGTV series that explores three key issues within the digital industry. The series aims to not only highlight these well-known problems, but to show how you can be part of the solution through digital skills education and careers.

Artificial Intelligence

In the first video, Moya Lothian-Mclean, Charlene Prempeh and Sanjana Varghese describe some of the biases that are ingrained in artificial intelligence (AI) technology. What could be causing this? A lack of diversity in the workforce means that the data that is being used for this technology doesn’t show or represent the broad spectrum of our society. However, the 3 AI enthusiasts agree that with a more diverse AI workforce creating, training and reviewing AI products and services, we can ensure that the technology is being used properly, and won’t recreate human bias or discriminate against groups of people.

If you want to help reshape the AI industry, you’re in luck. The UK is third in the world for its level of AI investment [i], so skills in this area will be useful when applying for jobs. For short, online courses try UAL’s Introduction to Creative AI or Coventry’s Artificial Intelligence: Distinguishing Between Fact and Fiction, both hosted on FutureLearn and suitable for beginners. Or if you’re already familiar with AI, check out QMUL’s MSc in AI for a deeper look into this technology and its benefits.

Accessible gaming

The second video looks at accessible gaming. Stacey Rebecca shares her story of struggling with chronic pain condition fibromyalgia, and the way gaming opened up the world to her again. For Mick Donegan and Frankie Ward, one of the solutions is accessible hardware, although this can be expensive to create. But with more gaming companies employing accessibility consultants from the very beginning of game design and development, Stacey is confident that games will become more accessible to a wider group of people. Frankie also believes that a more diverse workforce will create games that are not only suitable for everyone to play, but tell the stories of people with different experiences.

There’s a variety of ways you can get involved with gaming, from the programming and design, to the story and artwork. While all areas need a different set of skills, you can learn how to consider accessibility in each with short courses like UAL’s Introduction to UX and Accessible Design or UWE’s Designing the User Experience. For a focussed look at game development, try MMU’s BSc in Computer Games Technology.

Sustainability in fashion

In the third video, Sadie Clayton, Damara Ingles and Karinna Nobbs take a frank look at the sustainability of the fashion industry. All 3 women are frequently disappointed by the culture of ‘fast fashion’, and its impact on the environment. By using digital methods of producing and advertising clothes, with technologies like virtual reality, they agree that we can improve the sustainability of the fashion and open the industry up to a wider group of people.

You can try out the possibilities of virtual reality with Lancaster’s Virtual Worlds module, which can be taken as part of their minor in Creative and Applied Computing – available to any Lancaster student studying a non-computer science degree. If you’d like to find out how your creativity can be utilised in other areas of computing and translated to fashion, check out UAL’s BSc in Creative Computing.

Visit our course catalogue for all these courses and more, and to start your digital skills journey.

[i] Tech Nation, 2020

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