Harvard-MIT initiative grants $750K to projects looking to keep tech accountable

Artificial intelligence, or what passes for it, can be found in practically every major tech company and, increasingly, in government programs. A joint Harvard-MIT program just unloaded $750,000 on projects looking to keep such AI developments well understood and well reported.
The Ethics and Governance in AI Initiative is a combination research program and grant fund operated by MIT’s Media Lab and Harvard’s Berkman-Klein Center. The small projects selected by the initiative are generally speaking aimed at using technology to keep people informed, or informing people about technology.
AI is an enabler of both good and ill in the world of news and information gathering, as the initiative’s director, Tim Hwang, said in a news release:
“On one hand, the technology offers a tremendous opportunity to improve the way we work —

including helping journalists find key information buried in mountains of public records. Yet we

are also seeing a range of negative consequences as AI becomes intertwined with the spread of

misinformation and disinformation online.”
These grants are not the first the initiative has given out, but they are the first in response to an open call for ideas, Hwang noted.

Safe artificial intelligence requires cultural intelligence
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