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UT Austin, MITRE synergy on ethical AI initiative

The University of Texas at Austin is dealing with the MITRE Corporation on a fresh partnership to build up more innovative and ethical artificial intelligence research.


The project is targeted on work already underway by interdisciplinary teams of researchers working within UT Austin’s Good Systems research grand challenge.

Officials say MITRE’s investment of $1 million to get Good Systems can help expand its team expertise and support a lot more faculty members, researchers and students to activate in focus on ethical AI.

“AI technologies are increasingly being adopted rapidly across an array of industries because of the increased efficiency and convenience they are able to provide,” said UT and MITRE in a statement announcing the brand new partnership.

“However, the widespread adoption of some AI technologies could cause adverse societal effects, included in this job losses, increased economic inequality, infringements on privacy, overreliance on biased algorithms and data sets, and the disruption of elections and of the social fabric,”

The collaboration between Good Systems and MITRE was enabled by the UT Austin Cockrell School of Engineering, College of Natural Sciences, School of Information and Department of Defense Research Advancement.


UT launched Good Systems in 2019. Since that time, technologists, social scientists and humanists taking part in the project have already been attempting to define, evaluate and build ethical AI systems in six core areas:

  • Enhancing middle-skill use smart hand tools

  • Designing responsible AI to curb disinformation

  • Developing AI systems for smarter cities

  • Embedding ethics in public areas camera AI technologies

  • Designing AI to advance racial equity

  • Living and dealing with robots


“As consequential usage of AI increases, it is essential that people address safety, security and equity concerns,” said Douglas Robbins, vice president of engineering and prototyping at MITRE Labs.

“We have been thrilled to be dealing with UT Austin and Good Systems to advance the underlying science in these areas that may enable us to create AI systems that may reach their full potential.”

“Good Systems is honored to partner with MITRE to work toward our shared goal of making certain AI will serve the general public interest,” added Kenneth R. Fleischmann, founding chair of Good Systems and a professor in the institution of Information.

“AI innovation ought to be leveraged to improve our economic competitiveness and national security,” he said, “in fact it is also critical that people harness the advantages of AI to steer toward a far more equitable and just society.”


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