Google launches AI-focused Digital Futures Project and $20 million grant for academic institutions

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Google announced today the launch of the Digital Futures Project, an initiative that aims to promote responsible development of artificial intelligence (AI). 

The project will support research, convenings, and public policy discussions on AI, with a focus on issues such as fairness, bias, misinformation, security, and the future of work.

“AI has the potential to make our lives easier and address some of society’s most complex challenges — like preventing disease, making cities work better, and predicting natural disasters. But it also raises questions about fairness, bias, misinformation, security, and the future of work,” says’s director Brigitte Gosselink in the official announcement.

As part of the project, is establishing a $20 million fund to provide grants to leading think tanks and academic institutions worldwide to “facilitate dialogue” into the technology.

The inaugural grantees of the fund include the Aspen Institute, Brookings Institution, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and the Center for a New American Security.

“But getting AI right will take more than any one company alone. We hope the Digital Futures Project and this fund will support many others across academia and civil society to advance independent research on AI that helps this transformational technology benefit everyone,” the spokesperson continues.

 In 2018, the company published a set of AI Principles that guide its work. The principles emphasize the importance of fairness, equity, transparency, accountability, and safety.