Google has launched the Digital Futures Project, an initiative that aims to bring together a range of voices to promote efforts to understand and address the opportunities and challenges of artificial intelligence (AI).

Through this project, the company will support researchers, organize convenings, and foster debate on public policy solutions to encourage the responsible development of AI.

“As part of the Project, Google.org is establishing a $20 million fund, which will provide grants to leading think tanks and academic institutions around the world to facilitate dialogue and inquiry into this important technology,” the tech giant said in a blog post late on Monday.

Inaugural grantees of the Digital Futures Fund include the Aspen Institute, Brookings Institution, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Center for a New American Security, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Institute for Security and Technology, Leadership Conference Education Fund, MIT Work of the Future, R Street Institute and SeedAI.

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“The fund will support institutions from countries around the globe, and we look forward to sharing more on these organizations soon,” said Google.

In May this year, US Vice President Kamala Harris told top Big Tech CEOs — including Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella, Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, and Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI (ChatGPT fame) — that the private sector has an ethical, moral, and legal responsibility to ensure the safety and security of their products.

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In her meeting with CEOs of four US companies who are at the forefront of AI innovation, which also saw US President Joe Biden dropping by, she stressed that in order to realize the benefits that might come from advances in AI, “it is imperative to mitigate both the current and potential risks AI poses to individuals, society, and national security”.

“These include risks to safety, security, human and civil rights, privacy, jobs, and democratic values,” the White House had said in a statement.

Harris told the CEOs that advances in technology have always presented opportunities and risks, and generative AI is no different.

The White House also announced more funding and policy guidance for developing responsible AI.