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Knight Foundation and LinkedIn Founder Create $27 Million AI Research Fund

By   /  January 12, 2017  /  No Comments

by Angela Guess

A recent press release reports, “Recognizing the vast potential of artificial intelligence to affect the public interest, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Omidyar Network, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, and others have formed a $27 million fund to apply the humanities, the social sciences and other disciplines to the development of AI. The MIT Media Lab and the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University will serve as founding academic institutions for the initiative, which will be named the Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence Fund. The Fund will support a cross-section of AI ethics and governance projects and activities, both in the United States and internationally.”

The release goes on, “Artificial intelligence and complex algorithms in general, fueled by big data and deep-learning systems, are quickly changing how we live and work—from the news stories we see, to the loans for which we qualify, to the jobs we perform. Because of this pervasive but often concealed impact, it is imperative that AI research and development be shaped by a broad range of voices—not only by engineers and corporations, but also by social scientists, ethicists, philosophers, faith leaders, economists, lawyers and policymakers.”

It continues, “Hoffman and Omidyar Network each committed $10 million to the fund, while Knight Foundation committed $5 million. 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.”

Read more at KnightFoundation.org.

Photo credit: Knight Foundation

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