How the National Science Foundation is taking on fairness in AI

how the national science foundation is taking on fairness in ai

Sumary of How the National Science Foundation is taking on fairness in AI:

  • Most of the public discourse around artificial intelligence (AI) policy focuses on one of two perspectives: how the government can support AI innovation, and how the government can deter its harmful or negligent use.
  • Yet there can also be a role for government in making it easier to use AI beneficially—in this niche, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has found a way to contribute.
  • Through a grant-making program called Fairness in Artificial Intelligence (FAI), the NSF is providing $20 million in funding to researchers working on difficult ethical problems in AI.
  • The program, a collaboration with Amazon, has now funded 21 projects in its first two years, with an open call for applications in its third and final year.
  • This is an important endeavor, furthering a trend of federal support for the responsible advancement of technology, and the NSF should continue this important line of funding for ethical AI.
  • The FAI program is an investment in what the NSF calls “use-inspired research,” where scientists attempt to address fundamental questions inspired by real world challenges and pressing scientific limitations.
  • Use-inspired research is an alternative to the traditional “basic research,” which attempts to make fundamental advances in scientific understanding without necessarily a specific practical goal.
  • NSF is better known for basic research in computer science, where the NSF provides 87% of all federal basic research funding.

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