Artificial intelligence could have the power to do a lot of good in the future, but it could also do a lot of harm if left unchecked. That's why researchers around the world have been looking into the potential ethical and social implications of the tech for some time now.
While it will probably be a while before these global investigations turn up meaningful results, Google wants to push things forward a bit quicker in the best way it can: with a bit of healthy competition. In a blog post published today, Google's Jeff Dean and Jacquelline Fuller announced the launch of the "Google AI Impact Challenge," which will award grants from a $25 million pool to groups who discover or solve some of the problems AI brings to the table.
Google isn't entirely leaving its contestants to their own devices, though. The company says it will provide involved organizations with "coaching" from Google's own internal AI pros, as well as free credits and consulting for Google's Cloud services.
Furthermore, the company is giving participants several resources to bring them up to speed on how AI works, and what problems it's "well-suited" for solving. Google emphasizes that applicants don't need to be "AI experts" to take part in this challenge.
All in all, it definitely sounds like Google's AI Impact Challenge is less of a PR stunt and more of a genuine attempt to improve AI. The many resources they're handing out to the challenge's entrants is proof enough of that. We'll be keeping our eye on the challenge as it progresses, and we'll let you know if anything particularly interesting comes of it.