McGovern Foundation commits $40 million to advance data science

McGovern Foundation commits $40 million to advance data science

The Boston-based Patrick J. McGovern Foundation has announced that it is doubling its investment in data science and artificial intelligence with a new commitment of $40 million.

With the goal of accelerating the development of ethical AI, the foundation will award grants in 2021 aimed at leveraging artificial intelligence and data to protect the planet, foster economic prosperity, ensure healthier communities, strengthen tech education opportunities for young people, and create a more inclusive tech workforce. Through a consultancy to be launched this spring, the foundation also will provide technical support and additional resources to help nonprofits develop their data proficiency and infrastructure and create exemplary models of AI for the public good. 

To that end, the foundation will work with AI4AllCode.org, the University of Oxford, the Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyMIT Solve, the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence, and Trinity Challenge to bring stakeholders together, elevate diverse perspectives on the future of AI, and inspire young technologists to pursue tech for the public good — with a focus on non-traditional and marginalized voices. As part of the commitment, the foundation is supporting the World Economic Forum's new Global AI Action Alliance, which is aimed at accelerating the adoption of trusted, transparent, and inclusive AI systems globally.

"We sit at the frontier of the digital age with a set of choices about the future of these powerful tools," said McGovern Foundation president Vilas Dhar. "Will it be a future where control remains in the hands of a few to benefit the elite? Or a future where we all participate in the co-creation of AI and data that solves our greatest global challenges and makes our individual lives better? Our 2021 commitments aim to disrupt the status quo by empowering civil society to fully participate in shaping the future so that the benefits of AI and data are shared by all."

(Image credit: GettyImages)

"Patrick J. McGovern Foundation commits $40M to advancing AI and data for good." Patrick J. McGovern Foundation press release 01/28/2021.