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Communications of the ACM

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Finding an Alternate Way Forward with AI

dots in rainbow colors suggesting diversity

Credit: Performance Frontiers

Artificial intelligence (AI) researcher Timnit Gebru joined Google in 2018 intent on changing the system from within, sounding an alarm about the ways technology could—and already is—harming underprivileged communities. After an abrupt, contentious, and highly publicized dismissal from the company, she has embraced a new role with the founding of the Distributed AI Research Institute (DAIR), a nonprofit that seeks not just to expose potential AI harms, but to support proactive research into technologies that benefit communities, rather than working against them.

We spoke to Gebru and DAIR Director of Research Alex Hanna (like Gebru, a former member of Google's Ethical AI team) about DAIR's work and its goals for the future.


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