Girls Who Code rolls out songwriting experience to get young girls into AI

GirlJams responds to a survey showing that only 35 percent of women use AI, in comparison to 54 per cent of men.

11 December 2023

You might know Girls Who Code from its work with Doja Cat on the award-winning codable music video for Woman, which allowed users to direct creative decisions via easy coding tasks. The latest project from the non-profit seeks to get girls and non-binary people into AI through another digital experience.

Produced in collaboration with Mojo Supermarket and digital studio Buttermax, GirlJams is a songwriting tool that allows users to get to grips with the basics of AI by creating a short song, from lyrics through to artwork. Users are asked to input a prompt for the lyrics, then a genre, “feel” and finally a visual style for the album artwork. In the process, users will be exposed to introductory language surrounding AI and prompt engineering tips.

GirlJams uses ChatGPT for the creation of lyrics and Stable Diffusion to generate song artworks. Stable Diffusion has been in the news in the creative industry regularly this year for its ability to mimic the style of other artists – the owners of the model are currently being taken to trial by Getty Images over copyrighted materials. Stable Diffusion and ChatGPT are two highly popular tools, with many creatives also turning to models like these to speed up and improve workflow. (Find out how Stable Diffusion is being used by art directors, for example, here, or about the use of AI more broadly in the creative industries in our recent Insights series.)

“Despite its controversies, AI isn’t going anywhere,” says a release from Girls Who Code. “To ensure that women help define the future of AI, it’s crucial that more girls get interested in, are inspired by, and have fun with AI.” This month, The New York Times published a “who’s who” on the creators behind the AI movement, which only featured men. Meanwhile, a survey from Flexjobs says 54 percent of men are using AI, in comparison to only 35 per cent of women.

“We’ve already experienced the consequences of a lack of diversity in various tech sectors, from bias to ineffective products to unchecked hate speech. But with AI in its early stages, we have the opportunity to make sure that never happens again,” says Tarika Barrett, CEO of Girls Who Code. “With GirlJams we want to provide girls with an educational, fun and creative introductory experience to get them interested in AI while learning its basics, and perhaps shifting their perceptions and even fears of it.”

“AI Tools like Chat GPT and Stable Diffusion are things these students have probably heard of, but haven’t had an incentive to experiment with,” says Namwan Leavell, senior copywriter at Mojo Supermarket. “With GirlJams, we wanted to create an all-in-one experience that girls actually want to take part in, while learning these tools in a fun, low-key way.”

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Girls Who Code: GirlJams (Copyright © Girls Who Code, 2023)

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Liz Gorny

Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. In January 2023, they became associate editor, predominantly working on partnership projects and contributing long-form pieces to It’s Nice That. Contact them about potential partnerships or story leads.

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