News Startup Debuts for 'Trustworthy AI'

Mozilla, the open source champion behind the Firefox browser, has debuted, putting up $30 million to fund a trustworthy, independent and open source AI ecosystem.

The company, with a mission to "Keep the internet open and accessible to all," might be fighting an uphill battle as tech giants have provided massive funding to create proprietary tech to power for-sale commercial applications. Microsoft, for example, has pledged $10 billion to partner OpenAI in order to avail itself of cutting-edge tech like ChatGPT and GPT-4 to power swaths of its products across the board.

Such investments have resulted in OpenAI deviating from its original research mission cited in its 2015 debut, when it said, "Since our research is free from financial obligations, we can better focus on a positive human impact." Now, data scientists have noted the company is withholding details about its latest large language model (LLM), GPT-4, while being on track for Microsoft to hold a 49 percent stake in the company.

Mozilla, with a mantra of making "browsers, apps, code and tools that put people before profit," seeks a different way with

As of now, the startup's web site basically consists of only this:

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"We've learned that this coming wave of AI (and also the last one) has tremendous potential to enrich people's lives," said Mark Surman, president and executive director of the Mozilla Foundation, in a March 22 blog post. "But it will only do so if we design the technology very differently -- if we put human agency and the interests of users at the core, and if we prioritize transparency and accountability. The AI inflection point that we're in right now offers a real opportunity to build technology with different values, new incentives and a better ownership model."

Futhermore, after explaining the "good news" of engaging with many like-minded founders, engineers, scientists, designers, artists and activists, Surman listed the "less good news," saying: "We don't see this happening amongst the big tech and cloud companies with the most power and influence. Meanwhile, these incumbents continue to consolidate their control over the market."

The initial focus of is to foster the creation of tools to make generative AI safer and more transparent, along with people-centric recommendation systems as opposed to those that misinform or undermine people's well-being.

"The vision for is to make it easy to develop trustworthy AI products," Surman said. "We will build things and hire / collaborate with people that share our vision: AI that has agency, accountability, transparency and openness at its core. will be a space outside big tech and academia for like-minded founders, developers, scientists, product managers and builders to gather. We believe that this group of people, working collectively, can turn the tide to create an independent, decentralized and trustworthy AI ecosystem -- a real counterweight to the status quo."

Stay tuned for additional initiatives, partners and events where people can get involved in the project, for which potential collaborators can reach out at the [email protected] email address.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.


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