Mozilla Puts Up $295,000 To Explore How AI Threatens A 'Healthy Internet'

Mozilla announced on Tuesday that it's offering five-figure grants to researchers and creatives studying the impact of artificial intelligence on society. This latest round of the annual Mozilla awards will net lucky winners up to $US50,000 ($65,501) for producing AI-awareness content: Videos, browser extensions or interactive data visualisations.

Graphic: Mozilla

The problems of AI are legion: YouTube's algorithms have been criticised for harming children by introducing them to hugely inappropriate content, Facebook's content-moderating AI exacerbates fake news, while Google employees staged a series of public protests after a Gizmodo report uncovered its AI was being used by the US military. Complex societal issues, racism, misogyny, militarism and so on are being re-created in the tools we build.

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To bring awareness to the ways AI and machine learning may threaten "a healthy internet", Mozilla wants to reward creative artists and researchers for digging into the topic, offering a total of $US225,000 ($294,754) to seven lucky applicants. People can apply as individuals or as groups. The individual awards may change, but Mozilla's site lists the packages as follows:

  • Two $US50,000 ($65,501) total prize packages ($US47,500 [$62,226] award + $US2500 [$3275] MozFest travel stipend)
  • Five $US25,000 ($32,750) total prize packages ($US22,500 [$29,475] award + $US2500 [$3275] MozFest travel stipend)

Applicants will be judged by a committee of Mozilla staff and former fellows, and they will be accepted through 1 August 2018. Winners will be announced during MozFest, held 26-28 October 2018.

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