Mozilla has decided to focus on ‘better machine decision making’ as a theme and impact goal that will cut across our fellowships, campaigns and thought leadership work in the internet health movement over the coming years. As we say in our draft issue brief:
Mozilla wants to ensure AI serves humans rather than harms them. We're particularly interested in how automated decision making is becoming integral to large consumer tech platforms, from social networks to shopping sites to smart speakers. We want to make sure the interests of everyday users are designed into these platforms. Where they aren't, we want to call that out.
The aim is to have a thematic goal with a clear theory of change that Mozilla and its allies can go after in a distributed, decentralized manner -- but with markers and milestones that allow everyone to see progress. This goal will build on the personal data theme that Mozilla used in 2018. As with that theme, ~60% of Mozilla’s movement building program resources will go towards one goal over the next few years.
This wiki is meant to house Mozilla's up-to-date thinking and will be regularly updated. What follows is a list of the key documents that inform this thinking as well as the why, what and how of following through on it.
These documents provide the underlying thinking about better machine decision making as a core issue and maps activities in 2019 that will track against this issue.
- Updated better machine decision making issue brief (April 2019)
- 2019 current and planned activities (February 2019)
<-- read these things first, they will give you the big picture view on our thinking and early work.
Related Project Documents
- AI theme OKR Monthly Call Notes (internal only) - Monthly staff call notes regarding progress towards our goal of building momentum for better machine decision making
- List of all MoFo 2019 OKRs - live tracking of Mozilla Foundation's 2019 objectives and key results
- 2019 OKR Dashboard - overview of the organizational and team objectives and key results for 2019
- Impact Theme Analysis - Analysis of phase 1 and 2 interviews
May 26 - Theory of Change impact statements which are currently open to the public for comment will close
June 5 - Consolidate feedback from Consider.It platform to present to board program committee
June 17-21 - Mozilla All Hands
June - Creative Media Awards projects launch publicly
July - Present recommended impact statement(s) to the full Mozilla Foundation board
Some examples of activities in this space include:
- Creative Media Awards (public launch June 2019) -- 7 award-winning projects that use art and advocacy to highlight the unintended consequences of artificial intelligence.
- Mozilla Fellowships (Call closes April 8th) -- for the 2019-2020 Fellowship application, we are particularly interested individuals whose expertise aligns with the “better machine decision making” goal, or ensuring artificial intelligence is developed with ethics, responsibility, and accountability in mind. The call for 2019/2020 fellows closed on April 8th. Another round will open in early 2020.
- Literature review on better machine decision making (February 2019) -- we're currently working to break this down into more readable issue analyses.
- Responsible Computer Science Challenge (December 2018 to July 2020) -- while not explicitly linked to better machine decision making, the aim of embedded ethics into computer science curriculum is to have a long-term positive impact on the type of data we use to train AI.
You can read more about these projects and more here.
MoFo FLEX (Free-form Learning & EXploration) -- is an open and decentralized learning program, to support the work of the Foundation and the internet health movement. At its core is staff-led, self-directed and group learning projects, which might range from hosting a book club or study group, to leading a speaker series, to creating a comic or writing a blog post, and anything in between. Learn more about it here. Projects kick off in full April 19th, 2019.
The Theory of Change update will enable Mozilla & our allies to take both coordinated and decentralized action in a shared direction, towards collective impact on better machine decision making (AI).
It will define:
- Tangible changes in the world we and others will pursue (aka long term outcomes)
- Strategies that we and others might use to pursue these outcomes
- Results we will hold ourselves accountable to
What We're Writing
As a part of this work, Mozilla has been sharing thinking as it develops -- through blogs and in the media. Others are invited to share their perspectives on this issue as well.
- Blog post: "Consider this: AI and Internet Health
- Blog post: "Why AI + consumer tech?
- Blog post: "Getting crisper about AI"
- Blog post: "Mozilla, AI & Internet Health, an update"
- Orlando 2018 All Hands Talks: ‘better machine decision making'
- CNN Article: "How to keep AI from turning into the Terminator"
- Blog post: "Improving Internet Health: What (and How) Can We Win Together?"
- Initial Blog Post: "Slowing Down, Asking Questions, Looking Ahead"
These documents are process based and help share the story of how Mozilla got to this goal and why.
- Impact goal summary (November 2018)
- Better machine decision making issue brief (November 2018)
- Existing MoFo Theory of Change (January 2018)
You can read more about the background for this project here.
Sub things: - Impact Goal Office Hours
- Draft 5-10 impact statements and criteria
- Staff input & additions to existing impact statements and criteria
- Strategy Retreat participants begin deeper analysis
- External partners provide additional ideas and input on impact goals
- Draft short analysis for each impact goal
- MozFest session, displays, and meetings to solicit feedback and ideas from our community
- Review & discuss process and progress with MoFo board program committee
- Meet with additional internal/external partners and community members for feedback
- Exec team reviews final analyses; makes decision re: recommendation
- Discuss & get feedback during board meeting (Nov 15)
- Staff and fellows engage with impact goal at All Hands
- Expert interviews
- Begin literature review
- Document existing & planned work around machine decision making
- Develop comms & engagement strategy for staff, partners, and public
- Complete literature review and identify gaps in understanding requiring additional research and/or commissioned reports
- Share updated issue summary, lit review and current/planned work with board
- Coding, analysis and synthesis of expert interviews
- Synthesize list of possible better machine decision making outcomes, based on interviews, literature reviews & convenings
- Gather input and feedback with staff, experts, and allies around high-potential outcomes for Theory of Change
- Continue public and partner communication about process, learnings and opportunities to engage
- Finalize 1-3 long-term outcomes for machine decision making for the theory of change overlay
- Fully introduce impact goal theory of change overlay with staff at All Hands
- Begin to map out use for 2020 planning
- Share impact goal theory with board