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Philanthropies Launch $200 Million Initiative to Support Responsible Use and Innovation of Artificial Intelligence

As part of its grantmaking seeking to address the impact of technology on society, Heising-Simons Foundation has joined a new coalition of ten philanthropies to support public interest efforts that mitigate artificial intelligence’s (AI) harms and promote responsible use and innovation, as outlined by Vice President Kamala Harris earlier today.

Other partners include the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Democracy Fund, the Ford Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Kapor Foundation, Mozilla Foundation, Omidyar Network, Open Society Foundations, and the Wallace Global Fund.

Together, these institutions are collectively contributing more than $200 million to align their investments and scale civil society’s efforts to ensure that AI advances the public interest across five critical areas of need:

1. Ensure that AI protects democracy and the rights and freedoms of all people;

2. Leverage AI to innovate in the public interest and deliver breakthroughs to improve quality of life for people around the world;

3. Empower workers to thrive amid AI-driven changes across sectors and industries;

4. Improve transparency, interpretability, and accountability for AI models, companies, and deployers; and,

5. Support the development of people-centered international AI rules and norms.

“While AI technologies have the potential to make significant positive impacts on some of the most pressing issues of our day, they can also have destabilizing effects on democratic institutions and promote bias against marginalized groups, among other issues,” said Sushma Raman, President and CEO of Heising-Simons Foundation. “This initiative is an important step in the right direction to ensure philanthropy plays a role in supporting AI technologies that protect the rights and well-being of society at large.”

The Foundation will participate as part of the Foundation’s CEO Fund: Technology and Society, which has awarded over $3 million in grants in 2023 to support efforts to leverage AI in the public interest, including the Center on Race & Digital Justice Distributed AI Research Institute, and the Algorithmic Justice League.

Read the full announcement here.

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CEO Fund: Technology and Society