New $27M Fund Launches to Research AI for the Public Interest

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Omidyar Network, co-founder of LinkedIn and partner at Greylock Partners Reid Hoffman, along with other investors have formed a $27m fund focused on Artificial Intelligence research.

The MIT Media Lab and the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University will serve as founding academic institutions for the Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence Fund.
Hoffman and Omidyar Network each committed $10m to the fund, while Knight Foundation committed $5m. With the MIT Media Lab and the Berkman Klein Center, they will form a governing board to distribute awards and facilitate other activities that provide meaningful links among activities in the connective tissue between computer sciences, the social sciences and the humanities.
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and Jim Pallotta, founder of the Raptor Group, have each committed $1m to the fund, which is expected to grow as other funders come on board.

In particular, the fund will support a cross-section of AI ethics and governance projects and activities, both in the United States and internationally.
Among the issues, the vehicle might answer the following questions:
Communicating complexity: How do we best communicate, through words and processes, the nuances of a complex field like AI?
Ethical design: How do we build and design technologies that consider ethical frameworks and moral values as central features of technological innovation?
Advancing accountable and fair AI: What kinds of controls do we need to minimize AI’s potential harm to society and maximize its benefits?
Innovation in the public interest: How do we maintain the ability of engineers and entrepreneurs to innovate, create and profit, while ensuring that society is informed and that the work integrates public interest perspectives?
Expanding the table: How do we grow the field to ensure that a range of constituencies are involved with building the tools and analyzing social impact?

Read more about The Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence Fund, which will be housed at The Miami Foundation, here.



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