High-profile Investors Create Body for Regulating AI Ethics

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Artificial Intelligence expands its decision-making capacity with each new development, and with that power comes ethical concerns. As a precautionary measure, a group of tech giants committed $27 million USD to MIT and others for research on the appropriate ethical governance of artificial intelligence.

AI eases job functions in many sectors such as health, energy, image processing, education, insurance and even judiciary processes. AI influence is expected to benefit every sector, allowing the emergence of new markets and new opportunities with a social impact that is difficult to quantify. Nevertheless, with AI development comes AI ethics questions.

The #MediaLabofMIT and the #BerkmanKleinCenter work to govern #AI ethics.Click To Tweet

Taking note of the dramatic technological advances in this field and its potential to alter the structure of our society, the Media Lab of MIT and the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society launched their Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence Fund, for which they received $27 million USD.

Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence Fund

The biggest donors are Reid Hoffmann, the father of LinkedIn, and Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay, who committed $10 million USD each. The Knight Foundation injected $5 million USD. Other parties are involved: the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the billionaire Jim Pallotta, founder of the Raptor Group.

The MIT Media Lab and the Berkman Klein Center of Harvard, with academic partners, will form a board of directors, reward projects, and build a bridge between computing and social sciences. The initiative seeks to open up discussions on the human impacts of AI to different actors. Among the issues that are of interest to the initiative, complex communication, ethical design, and innovation in the service of society are the most important.

AI Ethics: Cultural Responsibility

AI ethics doesn’t concern academic minds only. In September, Google, Facebook, and Amazon, among other digital heavy hitters, formed a partnership around AI ethics as a means to benefit society.

Last October, the White House published a report, “Preparing for the Future of Artificial Intelligence.” It covered the opportunities and challenges posed by AI, and the public policies that arise from this technology.

A virtually inexorable movement with potentially positive economic and social impacts, the development of AI will require collaboration between government, industries and civil society. This will involve engineers, sociologists, philosophers, economists and legislators to maximize AI potential while minimizing its risks.

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