October 23, 2021


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NBC Universal extends spell check for bias with Gina Davis Institute

3 min read

NBC Universal’s Global Talent Development and Inclusion (GTDI) group has announced in the media the expansion of its Spell Check for Bias partnership with the Gender Davis Institute. After a year-long pilot initiative using the tool to create more opportunities for Latinx representation on screen, GDTI will continue to expand Bias ’spellcheck to improve representation of Black and Asian American Pacific Islands.

Uses artificial intelligence to analyze film and television scripts and manuscripts to identify character representation and percentage of dialogue by gender, race, sexual orientation, disability, age and body type. It analyzes other traits such as violence, inequality and intelligence with an unknown character. The tool aims to increase the chances of authentic representation and casting for under-representation, developed through a partnership with the Signal Analysis and Interpretation Laboratory (SAIL) at the Gina Davis Institute USC Vitarbi School of Engineering.

GTDI and the Gina Davis Institute initially introduced spelling checks for bias pilots targeting content from Universal Pictures, Focus Features and DreamWorks Animation and later expanded to include Universal Studio Group and Entertainment Content Group. The expansion is intended to help content creators and NBCU creatives and production executives prioritize diversity, equality and inclusion in the early stages of the development production process across NBC Universal’s film, television and streaming portfolio.

“I’m sincerely committed to NBC Universal’s commitment and the systematic improvement of Latino, Latina, Black and AAPI representation in their content company as well as incorporating many insights from our spellcheck for Bias in ongoing production,” said Gina Davis. “We are very excited to continue this partnership with NBCUniversal with Mr. Narayanan and his team at USC Viterbi as we expand our Space Check for Bias tool.”

“We are excited about the impact this research pilot has already had across our company and industry,” said Peter Kramer, president of Universal Pictures. “Taking advantage of the expertise of Geena Davis Institute experts on gender in the media as well as collaborating with Universal Studio Group, Entertainment Content Group and our creative partners at Telemundo, we look forward to further developing this important research tool for Latinos.” And bring spell checks for bias to more manufacturers across our portfolio.

To develop the criteria for Latino and Latina representation, GTDI brought together a team of advisors, including Universal Picture, Focus Features, DreamWorks Animation, Entertainment Content, Universal Studio Group and Telemundo, as well as actresses and producers Kate Bells, Sikira, Brownstone Productions’ Allison Small, Lord Miller’s Aditya Sood, NY Latino Film Festival’s Calixto Chinchilla, Will Packer Productions and Harness, America Ferreira co-founded.

Following the implementation of the new criteria, which were evaluated using active development scripts in the film and television departments, spell analysis for Beas analysis identified opportunities for Latino and Latina casting and identified cultural stereotypes in the description of Latino and Latin characters, and the next adjustment was tested in 20. % Of script.

GTDI will bring together a new team of advisers to expand the research criteria for Black and AAPI representation, again testing the tool for its effectiveness and potential using film, television and streaming content across the NBC Universal portfolio.

“New, authentic and innovative approaches are needed inside and outside the studio system to address the complex issues of inclusion and equality across the entertainment industry,” said Janine Jones-Clark, executive vice president of inclusion at NBC Universal’s talent and content division. “While we know we have a lot more work to do, we are grateful for our creative advisors who have helped us take the necessary steps in the right direction. We look forward to creating dynamism as we continue to work to advance every aspect of inclusion storytelling – from casting to narration.

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