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The Field of AI Research Is About to Get Way Bigger Than Code

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The AI Now Institute is a new research organization aimed at the exploration of how artificial intelligence is affecting society at large.

Credit: ktsdesign/

Microsoft Research's Kate Crawford and Open Research at Google founder Meredith Whittaker on Thursday announced the launch of the AI Now Institute, a cross-disciplinary initiative that will research the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on society.

Fields that AI Now plans to bring together include data science, law, economics, and sociology.

"The amount of money and industrial energy that has been put into accelerating AI code has meant that there hasn't been as much energy put into thinking about social, economic, ethical frameworks for these systems," Crawford says. "We think there's a very urgent need for this to happen faster."

AI Now will focus on four core themes, including AI's ramifications for bias and inclusion, labor and automation, rights and liberties, and safety and critical infrastructure.

Crawford and Whittaker want their efforts to yield a shared vernacular between AI creators and those who study its effects so societal solutions can be invented.

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