A group of national, regional and international foundations working in Europe have partnered to launch the European Artificial Intelligence Fund, a philanthropic initiative dedicated to strengthening civil society’s ability to actively shape the role and form that Europe’s digital transformation should take.
The initiative, which was originally conceived of in 2019, has become ‘more urgent’ amid the conditions created by Covid-19, say the Network of European Foundations. The Fund is supported by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, King Baudouin Foundation, Luminate, Mozilla, Oak Foundation, Open Society Foundation and Stiftung Mercator.
‘CSOs and philanthropy have been largely absent for the debates around digital transformation,’ said Joost Mönks, an International expert in education and AI, as well as a lecturer on emerging philanthropy at the University of Geneva in Switzerland. Mönks authored an article about philanthropy’s future in AI for Alliance in June.
Continuing, he said: ‘I welcome the European AI Fund as an innovative and much-needed initiative to engage them in shaping our digital futures in an inclusive, ethical and human-centered way, reflecting the values underlying the sectors. I expect that this growing engagement will soon require the development of relevant guidelines and standard for the use of digital technology in CSOs and philanthropy, a topic on which we have initiated work here in Geneva.’
The European AI Fund has just launched its first call, seeking proposals from organisations who want to build or strengthen their advocacy capacity on AI and Automated Decision Making (ADM). The Fund is also looking to bring in new civil society actors to the debate, including those who haven’t worked on issues related to AI, but whose domain of work is affected by AI.