Black & Abroad, a USA-based (Atlanta)  travel company which targets mostly African-Americans, has launched an online campaign named "Go Back To Africa" that uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to promote tourism to Africa. The Go Back To Africa campaign is so named also because it seeks to turn a condescending, negative and derogatory phrase that is often told to Africans and African Americans by some Americans who feel they do not belong in the country.

As such, with its online campaign, Black & Abroad encourages African Americans to Go Back To Africa and explore the continent through tourism.

"The expression 'Go Back To Africa' is a racial slur often used against our community. While the phrase has a long and complicated backstory - with roots in the transatlantic slave trade - it’s far from old history. Even today, it appears nearly 5,000 times a month online - often with hateful intent. As a brand dedicated to redefining experiences for the modern Black traveler, we want to end that hate. So we are reclaiming the phrase 'Go Back To Africa.' It’s a pan-African tourism campaign – for every country in Africa – designed to reframe the story. It’s also designed to flood the Internet with positive images of and ideas about African Americans traveling in Africa. So we can see ourselves there. And maybe get inspired to go there. Not because someone told us to. But because at its core, going back to Africa can be an amazing experience."

Go Back To Africa promotional video.

Replacing hate

The award winning online campaign is the result of Black & Abroad partnering with the data driven agency, FCB/SIX. The website uses AI to collect social media posts from people touring Africa who also use the hashtag #gobacktoafrica.

It then uses Google's Vision AI  to scan the faces in each photo to identify photos with black people and posts them, with the location, on the Go Back To Africa website. Google describes its Vision AI as having the ability to detect emotion, understand text, and more from photos by using Machine Learning.

The aim is to show African Americans images of other black travellers having vacations in different African countries. The campaign has gained so much popularity and acclaim that it won the Cannes Lions creative data award for 2019.

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