4 min read

Mozilla announced funding for the seven projects of its 2018 Creative Media Awards, earlier this week. These projects aimed at promoting art and advocacy to highlight the unintended and indirect consequences of artificial intelligence in our everyday lives.

Mozilla’s Creative Media Awards is an initiative taken by Mozilla to support and promote a healthy internet ecosystem. Mozilla announced, in June this year,  that it will be awarding $225,000 to the winner technologists and media makers.

“We’re seeking projects that explore artificial intelligence and machine learning. In a world where biased algorithms, skewed data sets, and broken recommendation engines can radicalize YouTube users, promote racism, and spread fake news, it’s more important than ever to support artwork and advocacy work that educates and engages internet users”, reads the Mozilla awards page.

The creative media awards are a part of the NetGain Partnership. NetGain Partnership is a collaboration between Mozilla, Ford Foundation, Knight Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, and the Open Society Foundation.

The winners of the seven projects come from five different countries, namely, the U.S, the U.K, Netherlands, India, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The winners used science fiction, short documentaries, games, and other media to make the” impact of Artificial Intelligence on the society understandable”. These seven projects will be launched by June 2019.

Let’s have a look at these projects.

Stealing Ur Feelings

Stealing Ur Feelings will be an interactive documentary by Noah Levenson in the U.S. Levenson, has been awarded $50,000 as a prize. The documentary will be exploring how an emotion recognition AI tracks whether you’re happy or sad. It will also reveal how companies use that data to influence your behavior.

Do Not Draw a Penis

Do Not Draw a Penis by Moniker in the Netherlands aims at addressing automated censorship and algorithmic content moderation. Moniker has also been awarded $50,000 as a prize.

In Do Not Draw a Penis, users will have to visit a web page and will be met with a blank canvas. On that blank canvas, users can draw whatever they want, and an AI voice will comment on their drawings ( such as “nice landscape!”). However, in case the drawing resembles a penis or other explicit content, the AI will scold the user and destroy the image.

A Week With Wanda

A week with Wanda by Joe Hall from the UK will be a web-based simulation of risks and rewards attached to Artificial Intelligence. Hall has been awarded $25,000 as a prize.

Wanda is an AI assistant that interacts with users over the course of one week to “improve” their lives. So, Wanda might send “uncouth” messages to Facebook friends or order you anti-depressants. It might even freeze your bank account, however, Wanda’s actions are simulated, not real.

Survival of the Best Fit

Survival of the Best Fit by Alia ElKattan in the United Arab Emirates is a web-based simulation of how blinding use of AI during the hiring process reinforces workplace inequality. ElKattan has been awarded $25000 as a prize.

Survival of the Best Fit presents users with an algorithm to experience how white-sounding names are prioritized, among other related biases.

The Training Commission

The Training Commission is a web-based fiction by Ingrid Burrington and Brendan Byrne in the U.S. This team was awarded $25,000 as a prize. The Training Commission tells stories of AI’s unintended consequences and harms to public life.

What Do You See?

What do you see| by Suchana Seth from India highlights and explores how differently humans and algorithms “see” the same image, and how easily bias can kick in. Seth has been awarded $25,000 as a prize.

What do you see involves humans having to visit a website and describe an image in their own words, without the help of prompts. Then, humans will see how an image captioning algorithm explaining the same image.

Mate Me or Eat Me

Mate Me or Eat Me is a dating simulator by Benjamin Berman in the U.S. Berman has also been awarded $25,000 as the prize.

Mate Me or Eat Me examines how exclusionary real dating apps can be. Users will have to create a monster and mingle with others, swiping right and left to either mate with or eat others. Users are also presented with an insight on how their choice impacts who they see next as well as who all have been excluded from their pool of potential paramours.

These seven awardees were selected depending on the quantitative scoring of their applications by a review committee. Committee members comprise the Mozilla staff, current, and alumni Mozilla Fellows, as well as the outside experts.  Diversity in applicant background, past work, and medium were also considered during the selection process.

For more information, read the official Mozilla Blog.

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Tech writer at the Packt Hub. Dreamer, book nerd, lover of scented candles, karaoke, and Gilmore Girls.