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Community

Diversity in Blockchain Series #1: Why Diversity Matters to Us

Klaytn | 07.02| 78

Hi readers,

We are delighted to introduce to you a new series: [Diversity in Blockchain]. As Klaytn is dedicated to mainstream adoption of blockchain, it is important to explore the greater ecosystem and observe the works and visions of those who are contributing to this ecosystem. This [Diversity in Blockchain] series will be an opportunity to shed light on unique stories, works, and impacts that individuals around us are making.

#squatforchange

(Source: Instagram@3boys_1goal)

#squatforchange is a trending hashtag that has recently echoed throughout Instagram. A man had to squat down to change his baby’s diaper in a men’s washroom that had no diaper changing station. After this post went viral on Instagram, many fathers shared their similar experiences. One said he had to take off some of his clothes and put them on the bathroom floor to take care of his baby’s diaper.

The preconceived notion that mothers are the only ones to change diapers has given some men uncomfortable experiences with their babies at men’s washroom where there is no diaper changing station installed. Why do we still somehow believe that it is only women who take care of children? Washrooms are just one example. Many services and products we use in our daily lives may also be equipped with such prejudices and inconveniences without us even realizing them.

There are, however, some efforts that seek to reflect the diverse demands of people to the services and products that we use.

#toylikeme

(Source: Toy Like Me Facebook)

Toy Like Me, a campaign that first started in the U.K., calls on toy manufacturers to make toys that reflect various human physical features and characteristics. By playing with toys that resemble themselves, the children with disabilities or diseases can recognize that their differences are not so ‘different’ after all. They also learn to accept themselves just as they are. A number of big toy brands like Playmobil and Lego are attempting to reflect such diversity to toy design and manufacturing, and by doing so, they are sending a powerful message that everyone should be included and celebrated.

#emoji

(Source: Unicode Blog)

The Unicode Consortium is a non-profit corporation devoted to developing, maintaining, and promoting software internationalization standards and data, particularly the Unicode Standard, which specifies the representation of text in all modern software products and standards. Last February, Emoji 12.0 data has been released with 59 new emojis, including emojis for hearing aid, wheelchair, mechanical arm and leg, cane, and guide dog. This update is the result reflecting the voices that there are not enough emojis to express the emotions and feelings of those who live with disabilities.

-

We live together with a variety of people with diverse characteristics whether they be gender, religion, language, race, or sexual orientation. In addition to such varying external features and appearances, we all have individual tendencies and characteristics, which we want to be able to express through the products and services we use. To meet such desires and needs, the services and products must be able to capture the diverse characteristics and individual behavior patterns of people. In particular, a kind of world that technology embodies should be able to reflect a broad spectrum of varying perspectives, because a kind of bias that the technology connotes could be rather frightening.

Let’s take a look at the AI — Artificial Intelligence — cases. According to a Fortune news article published last October, Amazon has developed an AI-powered recruitment system based on people’s resumes accumulated over the past 10 years. This system, however, downgraded resumes with the word “women’s” in them, and also marked lower scores to those who graduated from women-only colleges. Amazon’s efforts to improve its system failed and ultimately had to kill the entire project in 2017.

The results of an AI-powered beauty contest held by a group of scientists in Russia in 2016 are also a similar case. When a contestant sends her headshot, the artificial intelligence, supported by complex algorithms, would make evaluations on her beauty by examining various factors including facial features, symmetry, wrinkle marks, etc. However, because the system considered light skin-colored contestants to be more attractive, only 1 out of 44 finalists turned out to be a dark skin-colored contestant. Meanwhile, Google also had to officially apologize because Google Photos auto-tagged colored people as gorillas.

It is dangerous to assume that technology can solve all the problems of this society. Technology is not a ‘cure-all.’ Only when those who develop and utilize technology have balanced and open perspectives can technology contribute towards creating more positive impacts with inclusivity and openness.

-

The blockchain technology is often dubbed as the potential game-changer for diverse industries and markets, and it is thus necessary for those who utilize blockchain to consider the potential issues of diversity and inclusion in advance. We need to make rooms for blockchain to grow into a safer and more reliable technology with robust security. It must be able to meet the diverse needs of end users and reflect such needs in blockchain application services.

In addition, the distinct characteristics of blockchain technology also point that we must take diversity into a great consideration. The nodes in a blockchain network must reach a consensus in the process of recording and modifying data. In doing so, the process and standards of reaching a consensus as well as the governance model should be created in a systematic manner in order to avoid the unfair decision.

The nodes are also rewarded in proportion to their contribution to the network. The same is true of the application services created based on this underlying technology. In the blockchain world, a new economic or social model can be established in which anybody who contributes to the network can benefit based on his or her contribution. That naturally leads to the importance of considering issues of how much incentives will be rewarded to whom in which occasions when designing a token economy.

-

Klaytn is a public blockchain platform. It is a playground upon which service providers and users can freely interact. In doing so, Klaytn strives to be as inclusive and universal as possible, not being wholly owned by any single entity. The ‘platform’ is supposed to be open for everyone. The more diverse stakeholders behave positively within the platform, the higher the platform’s value becomes.

To this end, we Klaytn will use our ‘diversity lens’ when developing the platform and partnering with various service providers with whom we build together our ecosystem. Just as a person with poor eyesight wears glasses to see things more clearly and accurately, we seek to approach potential issues with inclusive and universal perspectives so that they can transform into new innovations. Such ‘diversity-lens,’ ‘gender-lens,’ and ‘minority-lens’ can hopefully contribute to taking greater opportunities and many more possibilities into consideration when developing our Klaytn platform.

We plan to explore the greater blockchain ecosystem by working with those who make up this ecosystem with their diverse experiences and backgrounds. This [Diversity in Blockchain] blog series will attempt to shed light on their unique stories, their works, and the impacts they are creating. We hope this series can provide the opportunity to broaden our perspective with which we examine the blockchain technology and industry.


Diversity in Blockchain Series #1: Why Diversity Matters to Us was originally published in Klaytn on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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