Timnit Gebru, who was fired by Google after raising concerns about the tech giant's AI work, has launched a new nonprofit organization called the Distributed Artificial Intelligence Research Institute. DAIR is a continuation of Gebru's activism against misuse of AI, and aims to be a home for "community-rooted AI research free from Big Tech's pervasive influence," according to a press release on DAIR's website.
The institute is supported by the Ford Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Kapor Center and the Open Society Foundation. “I’ve been frustrated for a long time about the incentive structures that we have in place and how none of them seem to be appropriate for the kind of work I want to do,” Gebru told the Washington Post.
Gebru, formerly the co-lead of Google's Ethical AI group, was fired over a paper on the ethical dilemmas of natural language processing. Protocol interviewed Gebru earlier this year about her experiences as a whistleblower. The announcement lands on the one-year anniversary of Gebru's firing.
“AI needs to be brought back down to earth,” said Gebru in the press release. “It has been elevated to a superhuman level that leads us to believe it is both inevitable and beyond our control. When AI research, development and deployment is rooted in people and communities from the start, we can get in front of these harms and create a future that values equity and humanity.”