The Mozilla Technology Fund (MTF) is a grantmaking program which funds technical projects in specific areas that relate to internet health. The Mozilla Technology Fund’s first call for proposals is for projects which can expose elements of how artificial intelligence (AI) systems work, in order to reduce bias in and increase the transparency of AI systems. We hope to fund projects which can empower watchdogs (including technologists and journalists) to hold the designers of AI systems accountable and to give them tools to reduce bias and increase transparency.
For years, bias has been shown to be one of the major risks of operating AI systems at scale. Systemic bias and bias which exists in training data results in real-world harms for people whose access to economic opportunity, social interaction, education and banking is increasingly mediated by these systems. To create more transparent artificial intelligence systems, AI transparency and documentation best practices need to be developed as a means to help unlock accountability, agency, and fairness.
Through the MTF: Bias and Transparency in AI Awards, we will provide awards of up to $50,000 USD each to open source technology projects which can make artificial intelligence systems more trustworthy, by addressing bias and/or increasing transparency and accountability. We imagine these projects might demystify the inner workings of existing AI systems and make the design of their algorithms transparent, by improving the explainability, interpretability and predictability of their outputs. The projects we aim to fund will provide the tools for current AI systems to better serve the interests of people, and/or imagine new ways of building and training AI systems in the future. Click here to learn more about what we mean by “Trustworthy AI”. Our goal is to provide projects in the MTF: Bias and Transparency cohort with the resources needed to unlock their full potential and to make them more sustainable in the long term.
Awardees will be expected to join monthly cohort calls for the duration of their project (12 months, beginning in January 2022) in order to share their progress, ask questions and offer support to other project teams. Awardees will also have access to a senior Mozilla fellow focusing on openness (who will be an expert in building and maintaining open source technologies and communities), who will serve as mentor to members of the MTF cohort, as well as other Mozilla fellows with expertise in AI, transparency and bias. All MTF awardees past and present will have access to the MTF Slack Community for asynchronous discussion and updates.