Google is looking to address the issue of artificial intelligence (AI) inaccessibility with its new initiative called PAIR, short for "People + AI Research." The Alphabet-owned company announced its latest endeavor on Monday, stating the venture will be headed by data visualization specialists Martin Wattenberg and Fernanda Viégas. The two will be overseeing development of a wide variety of tools aimed at creating AIs that aren't prone to making discriminatory decisions or disappointing people in another manner. AI has countless potential use cases and is predicted to be at the forefront of the next major technological revolution, though solutions powered by machine learning may end up benefitting only a particular demographic, which is a scenario that Google is looking to avoid at all costs.
According to Viégas, her team will also be exploring the possibility of resetting product expectations of users, possibly an important step toward making inclusive, comprehensive, and non-discriminatory AI services. Apart from facilitating the process of teaching AIs to act like their creators expect them to, PAIR is also seeking to make this emerging tech field more transparent to people who aren't well-versed in AI. The ultimate goal of the effort is to make AI solutions more accessible in the sense that more people understand them and their decision-making processes instead of blindly relying on such tools. This solution may appear in several forms, from written explanations provided by AIs to general education of individuals who benefit from such services, Google said, with Viégas specifically mentioning an example of a doctor who must have some knowledge of the way an AI system that diagnoses diseases operates.
Much like its goal, PAIR's activities will be relatively transparent and open to public scrutiny and input. The Mountain View, California-based tech giant already enlisted the help of several experts from Harvard and MIT who will be included in the project and is planning to release updates on its endeavors on a regular basis. The move marks yet another step in Google's AI push that's already reflecting on the company's consumer electronics strategy and an update on the tech giant's endeavors in the field will likely follow shortly.