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Evaluation of the Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence Initiative

In 2016, as the Ethics and Governance of AI Initiative (the Initiative) was being conceptualized, numerous events occurred that would impact research, policy, and public discourse on the ethics and governance of AI. Examples include: the founding of the Partnership on AI (PAI); the ProPublica investigation that uncovered significant racial bias in AI used by law enforcement; and Brexit and the US presidential election, two political events which involved the spreading of misinformation on social media platforms. The funders recalled that the field of AI ethics was nascent when the Initiative was created: “There was definitely a sense in 2016 that there was so much going on […] it was a very rapidly moving field that hadn’t taken shape at all.

By 2017, $26 million had been raised for the Initiative that sought “to ensure that technologies of automation and machine learning are researched, developed, and deployed in a way which vindicates social values of fairness, human autonomy, and justice.” Philanthropic support was provided by Luminate (founded by The Omidyar Group), Reid Hoffman, Knight Foundation, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The Miami Foundation provided fiscal management. The Initiative was structured as a joint project of the MIT Media Lab and the Harvard Berkman-Klein Center for Internet and Society (BKC).

The original article was posted at the Knight Foundation.

The Boston Global Forum (BGF), in collaboration with the United Nations Centennial Initiative, released a major work entitled Remaking the World – Toward an Age of Global Enlightenment.   More than twenty distinguished leaders, scholars, analysts, and thinkers put forth unprecedented approaches to the challenges before us. These include President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, Governor Michael Dukakis, Father of Internet Vint Cerf, Former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, Harvard University Professors Joseph Nye and Thomas Patterson, MIT Professors Nazli Choucri and Alex ‘Sandy’ Pentland, and Vice President of European Parliament Eva Kaili.  The BGF introduced core concepts shaping pathbreaking international initiatives, notably, the Social Contract for the AI Age, an AI International Accord, the Global Alliance for Digital Governance, the AI World Society (AIWS) Ecosystem, and AIWS City.