Google Launches Digital Futures Project to Support Responsible AI, Announces First Set of Recipients

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Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google

Google, an American multinational technology company with a mission to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful, has launched the Digital Futures Project, an initiative that aims to bring together a range of voices to promote efforts to understand and address the opportunities and challenges of artificial intelligence (AI). It has also announced the first set of recipients of funds for the project.

As part of the giant Technology company’s efforts to promote responsible development of AI, it will be supporting researchers, organizing gatherings, and encouraging discussions on public policy solutions. Google.org will establish a $20 million fund to provide grants to top think tanks and academic institutions worldwide to further dialogue and make inquiry into this vital technology.

The use of AI has the potential to simplify lives and tackle some of the most intricate issues society faces, such as disease prevention, city improvement, and natural disaster prediction. However, it also presents concerns regarding fairness, prejudice, misinformation, security, and future employment direction.

To answer these questions, it is crucial for industry, academia, governments, and civil society to work together closely. The fund aims to support independent thinkers from various backgrounds and areas of expertise to delve into topics such as:

  • How will AI affect global security, and how can we utilize it to enhance the security of institutions and enterprises?
  • How will AI impact the workforce and the economy, and what measures can be taken now to prepare for AI-enabled jobs of the future? Additionally, how can governments employ AI to increase productivity and promote economic growth?
  • What types of governance structures and cross-industry initiatives can best support responsible AI innovation?

The Digital Futures Fund announced its first set of recipients, which include respected organizations such as the Aspen Institute, Brookings Institution, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Center for a New American Security, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Institute for Security and Technology, Leadership Conference Education Fund, MIT Work of the Future, R Street Institute, and SeedAI. This fund will provide support to institutions from various countries worldwide. Google will share more information about these organizations in the near future.

Google said it firmly believes that it is crucial to be responsible from the outset when dealing with Artificial Intelligence (AI), adding that’s why it created a set of AI Principles in 2018 to guide its work and established a governance team to enforce them by conducting thorough reviews of new systems. Additionally, Google teams regularly publish top-notch research about important topics such as fairness, equality, security, privacy, and safety. However, ensuring that AI technology benefits everyone will require collective efforts beyond any single company. Google says it hopes that the Digital Futures Project and this fund will aid numerous academic and civil society organizations in advancing independent AI research.