Mozilla aims to build a trustworthy and independent open-source AI ecosystem.
Mozilla says its AI startup will be a space outside big tech and academia for like-minded founders, developers, scientists, product managers and builders to gather.
Its initial focus will be on building tools that make generative AI safer and more transparent.
The Trust Project is a worldwide group of news organizations working to establish transparency standards.
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Mozilla Foundation, the company behind the Firefox browser, has announced an investment of $30 million in its new startup, Mozilla.ai. This comes after Mark Surman, executive director of the Mozilla Foundation, announced last November that the company will launch Mozilla Ventures with an initial $35 million in early 2023.
With Mozilla.ai, the company wants to build a trustworthy and independent open-source AI ecosystem outside of big tech and academia. As the AI craze continues, Surman wrote in a blog post that AI can only enrich people’s lives if the technology prioritizes transparency and accountability and puts human agency and user interests at the core.
He called out “big tech and cloud companies with the most power and influence,” saying that Mozilla doesn’t see them testing out new approaches to auditing and figuring out how to build ‘trust’ into AI in the real world. Instead, they are consolidating their control over the market.
Surman said that the vision for Mozilla.ai is to make it easy to develop trustworthy AI products. The startup will hire like-minded founders, developers, scientists, product managers, and builders to gather and create an independent, decentralized, and trustworthy AI ecosystem that serves as a counter to the status quo.
“The AI inflection point that we’re in right now offers a real opportunity to build technology with different values, new incentives and a better ownership model,”Surman wrote.
Mozilla.ai will be led by managing director Moez Draief, who joined the company in January from Capgemini Invent, where he led scientific activities in Machine Learning (NLP, Computer Vision, Ethical AI, Reinforcement Learning, Causal Inference), 5G, Quantum Computing, Complex Systems as global chief scientist. Prior to that, he was a research scientist at Microsoft, the Professor of Intelligent Systems at Imperial College London for almost a decade, and the head of AI foundations at Huawei for four years.
Harvard’s Karim Lakhani, Credo’s Navrina Singh, and Surman will serve on the initial Board of Mozilla.ai.
The startup’s initial focus will be on building tools that “make generative AI safer and more transparent” as well as “people-centric recommendation systems that don’t misinform or undermine our well-being.”
While there are currently no details on what those tools specifically are, Mozilla will share more about what they’re building in the coming months. The company will also announce additional initiatives, partners, and events where people can get involved later this year.
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