Microsoft, OpenAI announce $2 million fund to fight AI misinformation


MICROSOFT and OpenAI have announced a $2 million Societal Resilience Fund to tackle AI misinformation and educate people around the world on the technology.

This is amid concerns that artificial intelligence (AI) may influence voters as many countries hold their elections this year.

In a joint statement released on May 7, 2024, Microsoft and OpenAI said the fund will be targeted at AI education and literacy among voters and vulnerable communities as several countries go to the poll this year.

The emergence of generative AI like ChatGPT has led to the proliferation of AI-generated “deepfakes”, it noted. Thus, the widespread accessibility of these tools which empower individuals to fabricate videos, images, or audio recordings featuring prominent political figures has compounded the issue.

READ: Despite policies, AI-tools still generate misleading election-related images – Report

“In a year when two billion people across the globe will vote in democratic elections, it is more important than ever to provide tools and information that will help people navigate an increasingly complex digital ecosystem and find authoritative resources,” both companies said in the joint statement.

They further explained that grants delivered from the fund will help several organizations, including Older Adults Technology Services from AARP (OATS), the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity (C2PA), International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) and Partnership on AI (PAI) to deliver AI education and support their work to create a better understanding of AI capabilities.

“The Societal Resilience Fund is a joint effort that follows through on public commitments that Microsoft and OpenAI have made via the White House Voluntary Commitments, and the Tech Accord to Combat Deceptive Use of AI in the 2024 Elections, in which we have committed to engage with a diverse set of global civil society organizations and academics and committed to support efforts to foster public awareness and all-of-society resilience. Our shared goals are to combat the growing risk of bad actors using AI and deepfakes to deceive the voters and undermine democracy,” the statement reads.

According to Microsoft, these grants are intended to create a better understanding of AI and its capabilities across society. For instance, OATS will apparently use its grant for training programmes aimed at those aged 50 and over in the U.S., covering the “foundational aspects of AI.”

They said the launch of the Societal Resilience Fund is a step that represents Microsoft and OpenAI’s commitment to addressing the challenges and needs in the AI literacy and education space and therefore reiterated their commitment to collaborate with organizations and initiatives that share the same goals and values.

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Nurudeen Akewushola is a fact-checker with FactCheckHub. He has authored several fact checks which have contributed to the fight against information disorder. You can reach him via [email protected] and @NurudeenAkewus1 via Twitter.


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