The aim of the Digital Futures Project and the new Google fund is to help institutions explore issues like AI’s impact on global security and its influence in the labor market, as well as promote responsible AI innovation.
Google LLC has announced the launch of the Digital Futures Project that will promote efforts to ‘understand and address the opportunities and challenges of artificial intelligence (AI)’. Apart from that, Google.org has set up a $20 million fund with the purpose of providing grants to up-and-coming research institutes around the world to facilitate dialogue and inquiry into AI.
According to Google’s blog post, AI has multiple benefits and brings solutions to society’s burning issues, providing data-driven insights, optimizing resource allocation, and empowering marginalized communities. However, there are also risks posed by the technology along with all its advantages. The most common concerns include fairness, bias, misinformation, security, and the future of work. Thus, the aim of the Digital Futures Project and the new Google fund is to help institutions explore issues like AI’s impact on global security and its influence in the labor market, as well as promote responsible AI innovation.
“Getting AI right will take more than any one company alone. 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.”
Inaugural grantees of the Digital Futures Fund include 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.
Back in 2018, Google released a set of AI Principles to guide users in developing and using the AI technology responsibly. The principles included seven objectives for AI applications as well as application areas where Google will not design or deploy AI.
Earlier this year, Google became one of the founding members of the Frontier Model Forum to promote safe and ethical AI research, along with Anthropic, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT), and OpenAI.
Global Collaboration to Address AI Concerns
Companies worldwide are heavily investing in AI. Google and Microsoft alone have spent billions of dollars on AI tools over the last decade, including investments in OpenAI and Google’s Bard, Vertex, and Duet AI platforms. With the rapid development of AI, there are concerns about how AI could negatively impact the world if misused.
Currently, industry leaders and governments are taking action to guarantee the ethical and safe development of AI models.
In June 2020, the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI) was formed to guide the responsible development and use of artificial intelligence consistent with human rights, fundamental freedoms, and shared democratic values. Currently, 29 countries are members of the GPAI.
Another organization established to identify opportunities for international cooperation on AI regulation is The Forum for Cooperation on Artificial Intelligence (FCAI). FCAI hosts regular AI dialogues among high-level officials from seven governments (Australia, Canada, EU, Japan, Singapore, UK, and the US) as well as experts from industry, civil society, and academia.