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NSF, Amazon Announce Second Round of Research Projects Under ‘Program on Fairness AI’

Artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence

The National Science Foundation and Amazon partnered to fund the latest batch of research projects as part of a program that seeks to promote the development of trustworthy artificial intelligence systems and help mitigate bias in AI platforms, Nextgov reported Thursday.

“Thus, there are many ways to look at fairness in AI, and that is what NSF and Amazon are trying to do through this joint effort,“ Henry Kautz, division director for information and intelligent systems at NSF, told Nextgov. “We are making progress but are still in the early stages, where we need to understand the different aspects of fairness, in real-world settings, so that we can in turn understand how we can design our systems with “˜fairness' built into them.“ 

Kautz said NSF and Amazon “intend to provide approximately $10 million each, for a total of about $20 million, over the three-year life of the program.“

The second round of projects selected for the Program on Fairness in AI included initiatives that cover algorithmic and theoretical foundations, principles for human interaction with AI platforms, technologies such as computer vision and natural language understanding and applications of AI in education, human services, hiring decisions and criminal justice.

“We are excited to see NSF select an incredibly talented group of researchers whose research efforts are informed by a multiplicity of perspectives,“ said Prem Natarajan, vice president of natural understanding at Amazon's Alexa unit. “As AI technologies become more prevalent in our daily lives, AI fairness is an increasingly important area of scientific endeavor.“

Amazon offers partial funding for the program but is not involved in the proposal selection process.

NSF and Amazon announced the first cohort of awardees in March 2020 with plans to announce the third batch of research projects in 2022.

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Written by Jane Edwards

is a staff writer at Executive Mosaic, where she writes for ExecutiveBiz about IT modernization, cybersecurity, space procurement and industry leaders’ perspectives on government technology trends.

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