After being squeezed out of Google, Timnith Gebru set up his own artificial intelligence research institute: DAIR – TechCrunch

Exactly one year ago, Timnit Gebru, one of Google’s AI team ethics leaders and one of the best experts on the subject, was fired after sending a worrying email to his team. He has now set up shop with DAIR, a brand new research institute, focusing on topics he believes are left out of Google.

The Disseminated Artificial Intelligence Research Institute is an independent, community-based institute dedicated to counteracting the widespread impact of Big Tech on the research, development and use of artificial intelligence, ”the press release said.

DAIR, originally designed to reflect and highlight a variety of perspectives on the processes used by companies such as Google, Amazon, Facebook / Meta, will be self-funded. The focus will be on the publication of papers in the field of research, but without the tireless pressure of traditional academics or the intervention of global corporate parents circulating among researchers.

In an interview with the Washington Post, Gebru said, “I’ve been frustrated for a long time that the structure of the rewards we have and that none of them seem to fit the job I want to do.”

To date, the institute has raised $ 3.7 million from the Ford Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Capor Center and the Open Society Foundation. This is enough to get you started, and you need to make sure that your researchers are well paid and that this type of work is a more realistic option than working for a deep-pocket corporation that regularly funds AI research.

I asked Gebru, who spoke on stage about these topics, for more information from DAIR on how to conduct further research, and I will update this article if I hear about it. But two employees give us an idea of ​​what to expect.

Safia Noble, author of The Algorithms of Tyranny and recipient of the MacArthur Genius Grant, will serve on the DAIR Advisory Committee; We recently included him in a discussion on TC Sessions: Justice, where we talked about the dangers of using technology as widely used and “relevant” as they are considered neutral or valuable, but in reality it needs to be more controlled at the same time.

Raesetje Sefala is also the first researcher at DAIR; Recent studies in Cephala have focused on geographical and economic isolation in South Africa and calculated using satellite imagery.

“Artificial intelligence needs to be brought back to Earth,” he said. It has led us to a super humanitarian level that has led us to believe that it is inevitable and beyond our control, “Gebru said in a statement. can create a future that values ​​humanity. “