LinkedIn, EBay chiefs, others pledge $27m to protect humanity from AI

LinkedIn, EBay chiefs, others pledge $27m to protect humanity from AI

The need to protect the world against destructive artificial intelligence has moved the hand of a group of entrepreneurs and nonprofit bodies to pledge the sum of $27 million towards the cause.

The group backed by the likes of LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, eBay founder Pierre Omidayar, and the Knight Foundation, the Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence Fund will aim to bring together experts from multiple disciplines to turn an analytical eye on the development of AI.

The newly established fund will be anchored by the Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society and MIT’s Media Lab.

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“AI’s rapid development brings along a lot of tough challenges,” Joi Ito, director of MIT’s Media Lab, said in a press release.

“For example, one of the most critical challenges is how do we make sure that the machines we ‘train’ don’t perpetuate and amplify the same human biases that plague society? How can we best initiate a broader, in-depth discussion about how society will co-evolve with this technology, and connect COMPUTER science and social sciences to develop intelligent machines that are not only ‘smart,’ but also socially responsible?”

As Ito notes, not all concerns over AI are apocalyptic. Rather, as these systems become more prevalent in our daily lives — from driving our cars to informing our news feeds — their negative effects may be more insidious.

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