Lighthouse Silicon Valley Q1 Highlights: Their Promising Start to 2023

During this past Spring 2023 semester, Lighthouse Silicon Valley was a client for the Sbona Honors Program in Marketing and Business Analytics. This project was also in partnership with the Commonwealth Fund, Harkness Fellowship, and Stanford University for a national launch event based on a study centered around artificial intelligence and racial biases. The Sbona team consisted of both marketing and business analytics students, who conducted research on the student body about artificial intelligence and lockdown browser in addition to researching ethics within artificial intelligence.

Lighthouse Silicon Valley was founded in San Jose, CA in 2021. Lighthouse is aiming to address inequalities faced by marginalized communities by promoting engagement, fostering ecosystem development, creating safety net services, and supporting workforce development. They have prioritized Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) opportunities that aim to uplift vulnerable populations by providing them with family-sustaining wages.

In the Lighthouse Quarter 1 Executive Report, Quency Phillips, executive director of Lighthouse Silicon Valley reflects on the accomplishments of the company. In the past 21 months, Lighthouse has been able to double its network size, and increase staff capacity, while becoming a 501(c)3 organization. They have also received recognition from the National Science Foundation, secured major donors, and became a member of the City of San Jose COVID Task Force as well as the Santa Clara County Climate Collaborative Leadership Advisory Team.

Lighthouse understands that although much has been accomplished there is more they can do for the community. Their team is actively working on workforce development, sustainability, and advocating for policy changes with a plan that works in two phases. Phase one involved continuing to find partnerships while phase two is focused on using their 501(c)3 organization to support their network of 150 stakeholders to establish stability. Lighthouse plans to meet with over 50 organizations on May 31st, to discuss curriculum and workforce development within K-12 education, adult education, immigrant, reentry, and refugee communities. This plan aims to collaborate with trades, labor, and community college partners to ensure inclusivity. In conclusion, the first quarter of Lighthouse Silicon Valley’s performance has been remarkable, and am confident that 2023 will hold great success for the company.

AI and Lockdown Browser: The Unfair Impact on Students of Color and Black Students

As a student of color, I have personally witnessed how Lockdown Browser and other AI-based exam-proctoring tools have caused injustice and inequality. These tools have become prevalent in educational institutions to counter cheating in online exams, but they have resulted in unintended outcomes that affect black students and students of color more than others. Lockdown Browser has a flaw as it uses facial recognition technology to monitor students during exams. This technology has proven to be discriminatory against people of color and black people, resulting in inaccurate facial recognition. Consequently, students may be penalized unfairly due to false positives or negatives, leading to allegations of cheating or technical difficulties that prevent them from completing their exams. 

In addition, the implementation of Lockdown Browser may worsen the existing inequality in our education system, particularly in terms of access to technology. Students from economically disadvantaged or rural areas may not have the necessary resources, such as high-speed internet or compatible devices, to effectively use the software. This creates an unfair disadvantage for these students compared to their more affluent or privileged classmates. As an individual who is deeply committed to promoting fairness and equality in education, I strongly believe that it is imperative to voice opposition to the implementation of Lockdown Browser and other comparable AI-driven exam monitoring systems. It is essential that we identify alternative methods of preventing academic dishonesty that does not hinge upon prejudiced and unjust technology. 

In order to gain a deeper understanding of student perspectives and experiences regarding Lockdown Browser, we undertook a survey to gather feedback on the use of this software in remote exams. The findings of the survey indicated that a significant proportion of students are uneasy with the use of facial recognition technology for exam proctoring and that a number of them have encountered technical issues that have adversely affected their exam results. To sum up, the utilization of Lockdown Browser and other exam proctoring tools based on artificial intelligence can have significant consequences on the fairness and equality of education. It is imperative that we collaborate as a society to discover alternative measures that do not depend on prejudiced technology and that put the welfare and achievements of every student first.