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What is Public Interest AI?

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MaProject Map

Public Interest AI Project Map

There is a lack of accumulated and detailed data on Public Interest AI projects, including their specific objectives, methods, and frameworks. This is why we created a survey.

View all submitted projects, read their take on Public Interest AI, or submit your own project.

A global discourse

Defining Public Interest AI is as difficult as it is crucial for our society. Academia and various societal stakeholders have entered a discourse to sharpen the edges of this explanation.

Find out more about theories, conditions and the big questions concerning Public Interest AI.

For Public Interest AI we need to design new processes and design patterns.

What is Public Interest AI?

We understand Public Interest AI (PIAI) systems to be those AI systems that support those outcomes best serving the long-term survival and well-being of a social collective construed as a “public”.

Our understanding is inspired by theorists like Barry Bozeman and John Dewey and many other sources in the tradition of public interest theory. In our research we aim to make these ideas useful for the discussion on AI and how it could serve people and equity in societies instead of private goals and profit maximisation.

Public interest is closely entangled with the idea of democracy and the rule of law. Developing a collective idea of the public interest regarding a certain issue is an established process in many societies and has a long tradition in legal discourse. The public interest is never universal and instead needs to be defined for each societal issue by a deliberative and participatory process. To act in the public interests citizens think about more than their private interests – they think and act for a common good.

In our research, we explore and discuss what this understanding of the public interest means for the development and implementation of AI.

What are the conditions for PIAI?

We believe that besides legal requirements informed by ethical considerations certain conditions are important for the process of development and implementation of AI systems to serve the public interest.

Select one of the 6 conditions to find out more.

Select one of the 6 conditions to find out more.

Who's behind publicinterest.ai?

This website is a space to share knowledge and foster collaboration on AI in the public interest. The research that backs the content of this website is undertaken at the AI & Society Lab of the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG) in Berlin in cooperation with a wide group of experts. Visit our project website to find out more about our research and other related content.

Research project website

The publicinterest.ai toolbox

Besides this knowledge resource, we’re showcasing a handful of projects on Public Interest AI. This toolbox is a work in progress and open for ideas and collaborators. So come back once in a while to see what’s new and contact us if you want to contribute with a tool.

Open talks

Watch the recordings from our ongoing open talk series on Public Interest AI.

Watch on Youtube

Voices on PIAI

We've asked our community: what is Public Interest AI? Watch their answers and add your own short video clip.

Visit instagram channel

Blog posts

Our research sheds lights on many interesting questions around PIAI. All blog posts from our team can be found on the Digital Society Blog.

Read the posts

Knowledge base

We've put together a repository on Public Interest AI resources. From helpful scripts to detailed readings.

Find out more
publicinterest.ai is a project by the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG).