In a bid to understand the far-reaching implications of artificial intelligence (AI), Google announced the launch of the Digital Futures Project.
The initiative is designed to amalgamate insights from diverse sectors, including academia, public policy, and civil society, to shed light on AI’s opportunities and challenges.
At the heart of this endeavor is a $20 million fund managed by Google.org, committed to providing grants to globally-recognized think tanks and academic institutions.
Google believes AI has immense potential to revolutionize various aspects of human life—from healthcare to urban planning.
However, the technology also poses questions regarding fairness, misinformation, and security, among other concerns.
Google aims to facilitate a multilateral dialogue on public policy by supporting independent thinkers in exploring questions like:
- What impact will AI have on global security?
- How will AI alter labor and economic structures?
- What are the optimal governance structures for responsible AI innovation?
Inaugural grantees thus far include notable names like the Aspen Institute, Brookings Institution, and MIT Work of the Future. Google clarified that the fund would support institutions worldwide and will divulge more details soon.
This project continues Google’s commitment to responsible AI development, its comprehensive set of AI Principles, and setting up a governance team to oversee them.
“We hope the Digital Futures Project and this fund will support many others across academia and civil society to advance independent research on AI that helps this transformational technology benefit everyone.”
The team has since been involved in industry-leading research on AI-related issues like fairness and privacy.
Yet, Google acknowledges that developing responsible AI requires more than a solitary corporate effort.
The responsible development of AI is a pressing concern that affects multiple sectors, and Google’s initiative could catalyze much-needed discussion and research.
In addition to the Digital Futures Project, Google joined other big tech AI companies to form the Frontier Model Forum for responsible development of AI models.
Featured image: PopTika/Shutterstock