Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Google.org Starting $20 Million Fund for AI Experts at Think Tanks

Artificial intelligence (AI) issues are getting lots of attention and funding at think tanks.  Here is the latest example, from TechCrunch:

Ahead of Wednesday’s AI-focused private congressional meeting with tech giants, Google this morning announced a new initiative aimed at supporting researchers and public policy solutions around AI with the debut of the Digital Futures Project. As part of the effort, Google’s charitable arm Google.org is establishing a $20 million fund that will provide grants to think tanks and academic institutions developing AI expertise.

The tech giant says it aims to fund independent thinkers who are looking into topics like how AI will impact global security or how it can be used to enhance the security of institutions and enterprises; how AI will impact labor and how we can transition the workforce to the AI jobs of the future; how governments can use AI to boost productivity and economic growth; and what kinds of governance structure and cross-industry efforts can best promote responsible AI innovation.

The inaugural grantees of the Digital Futures Fund include the Aspen Institute, Brookings Institution, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Center for a New American Security, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Institute for Security and Technology, Leadership Conference Education Fund, MIT Work of the Future, R Street Institute and SeedAI.


Google.org reportedly will fund various organizations around the world, with non-US think tanks likely to get a chunk of that money. 

Before this latest tranche of money, think tanks had already pivoted toward AI.  Brookings, for example, has an Artificial Intelligence and Emerging Technology Initiative, while CSIS has the Wadhwani Center for AI and Advanced Technologies.