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CFI Awarded Templeton World Charity Foundation Grant for Global AI Narratives Project

Thursday 18 October 2018

We are thrilled to announce that CFI’s postdoctoral researcher Dr. Kanta Dihal, Executive Director Dr. Stephen Cave, Senior Research Fellow Dr. Sarah Dillon, and Associate Fellow Dr. Beth Singler have been awarded a major research grant by the Templeton World Charity Foundation, Inc. The six-figure grant will be used to fund the CFI project ‘Global AI Narratives: Reframing current artificial intelligence narratives through fostering international perspectives and networks’. Dr. Dihal will be the Project Director.

The Global AI Narratives (GAIN) project builds on the work of the AI Narratives project (a 2017 joint initiative of the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence and the Royal Society) which has been exploring the lack of diversity in contemporary AI narratives, and the ways in which the dominant narratives create a limited vision of the future of AI. These limitations include: a focus on anthropomorphised robots, which distracts from the reality of the technology; representation of a narrow demographic; and excessive polarising, which distorts public policy debates.

Narratives of machine intelligence informed by different philosophical, cultural, and spiritual traditions offer crucial sites of imaginative thinking. However, many of these existing narratives reach very limited audiences. The GAIN project seeks to address the lack of representation of these diverse worldviews through research on and dissemination of AI narratives around the world.

GAIN will identify alternative narratives to those currently informing high-level international public discourse and AI policy, by engaging a wide range of academics and artists from regions outside the Anglophone West through a series of ten global workshops. GAIN has already held two of these workshops in Singapore and Japan in September, with the upcoming workshops to be hosted in 2019-2020. It will then disseminate these narratives through creative, scholarly and public policy interventions. Fundamentally, GAIN seeks to foster new thinking about AI by creating an international community of academic experts, writers and artists, and opening up the global conversation that will shape the development of AI and its integration into society.

This will be a three-year project with final research results to be produced in late 2021.

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