Today Google is launching 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). Through this project, we’ll support researchers, organize convenings and foster debate on public policy solutions to encourage the responsible development of AI. As part of the Project, Google.org is establishing a $20 million fund, which will provide grants to leading think tanks and academic institutions around the world to facilitate dialogue and inquiry into this important technology.
AI has the potential to make our lives easier and address some of society’s most complex challenges — like preventing disease, making cities work better and predicting natural disasters. But it also raises questions about fairness, bias, misinformation, security and the future of work.
Answering these questions will require deep collaboration among industry, academia, governments and civil society. The fund will support independent thinkers representing a range of perspectives and expertise to explore issues like:
- How will AI impact global security, and how can it be used to enhance the security of institutions and enterprises?
- How will AI impact labor and the economy, what steps can we take today to transition the workforce for AI-enabled jobs of the future, and how can governments use AI to boost productivity and economic growth?
- What kinds of governance structures and cross-industry efforts can best promote responsible AI innovation?
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. The fund will support institutions from countries around the globe, and we look forward to sharing more on these organizations soon.
We’ve long believed that being bold on AI means being responsible from the start. That’s why in 2018 we published a set of AI Principles to guide our work, and established a governance team to put them into action by conducting rigorous reviews of new systems. Our teams also regularly publish industry-leading research on issues like fairness, equity, security, privacy and safety.
But 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.